Agribusiness

2013: A Negative Balance for Rural Workers

Joao Pedro Stedileby Joao Pedro Stedile, National Coordination of the MST

It is usual to take advantage of the year-end period, forever doing the critical balance of losses, achievements and progress in the various sectors of activities of our society.

Unfortunately for workers who live in the countryside the balance of 2013 is anything but optimistic. Briefly we could track several defeats that the movement of capital in imposed.

The process of concentration of land ownership and agricultural production continues to accelerate and our natural resources are increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer capitalists. There was an avalanche of foreign financial capital to control more land, more water, more plants, more agro-industries and virtually all foreign trade of agricultural commodities. And some of them are already buying up the oxygen of our forests, the famous way of carbon credit, then resold in European exchanges to permit Europe to maintain its pollution!

Agroecology and Agribusiness: Monsanto's War on Agriculture

On May 25, 2013 over two million people marched and protested against agribusiness giant Monsanto.  See coverage from USA Today, Huffington Post and a roundup of articles on the Occupy Monsanto website.  The MST has long decried the unsustainable agricultural model that Monsanto has developed for profit – including the use of GMO seeds and a reliance on a flood of agro-toxins.

We include an article on how the Brazilian government is seemingly organizing for organic production, when in reality it is only support for agribusiness.  We also include two articles on Monsanto’s war on health, GMO labeling and its attempt to control the world’s food.

Protest Against Monsanto

 “Agroecology Will Have A National Plan and Create A New Milestone for the Country” from Carta Maior.

From CounterPunch magazine:

 “Monsanto’s Dirty War: Why Labels on Genetically Engineered Foods Won’t Cost Consumers a Dime

 “Monsanto Seeks to Control World’s Food: It's Not Science Fiction Anymore

"Dilma government abandons agrarian reform", declares Alexandre Conceição

By Iris Pacheco of the MST's website

The Dilma government  is responsible for the worst figures of land expropriation of the last 20 years. In 2012, only 28 rural estates met the decreed target. No real estate has been expropriated thus far in 2013. During the first term of this year, social movements in the countryside undertook several days of action with combined and specific agendas, bringing the urgent necessity of Agrarian Reform to the attention of the Brazilian government.

Stedile: Structural Reform on the agenda for the 11th July mobilizations

We have not had such vigorous street mobilizations since the campaign for “Rights Now” in the '80s.  The protests which exploded with the youth indignation were just the tip of the iceberg of the profound social and economic problems that persist in our society.  On one hand, the big cities have become a living hell, where workers pay high costs for low quality public transport.  Besides that, they spend two or three hours a day traveling, a pure waste of time.

Those who managed to buy an automobile, financed by international finance capital, are realizing that they paid dearly for the ability not to be able to move.  The auto assembly companies and the associated banks have never before sent so much money abroad.

Solidarity with the Indigenous in their Fight in Mato Grosso do Sul

 

The MST expresses solidarity with the indigenous fighting in Mato GrossIndigenous Protesting Taking of Land in Rioo do Sul in defending their territories and against the appropriation of land by agribusiness.

The Brazilian state, with the decision to expel the indigenous from the Buriti Fazenda and Federal Police action to repossess the occupied land in the municipality of Sidrolândia, acts to defend the right of agribusiness and large farmers, instead of fulfilling what is required by the Constitution.

The Dilemma of Agrarian Reform in Brazil's Agribusiness

BrJoao Pedri Stedukeazilian society faces, in the rural milieu, distinct problems needing different solutions. We have serious problems and emergencies that require urgent action. There are about 150,000 families of landless laborers living under black tarps, camping, fighting for the rights that are in the Constitution to have land to work. For this problem, the government needs to do a real joint effort among the various agencies and settle the families in lands that exist in abundance throughout the country.  Remember that Brazil uses for agriculture only 10% of its total area.

Sign the Petition Against the Appointment of Katia Abreu to the Cabinet of [President] Dilma [Rousseff]

The Brazil Rainforest Movement launched an internet petition against the appointment of Senator Katia Abreu (PSD - TO) for the Katie Abreuagriculture ministry of President Dilma Rousseff.

"The appointment of Katia Abreu would represent another step toward the interests of landowners and multinational agribusiness. If this action is confirmed it would be construed by us as a sign of definitive break of the federal government with sustainable development," says the petition.

Click here to sign the petition *

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