MST hosts the second annual Fair of Family Agriculture in Itaetê in the interior of Bahia

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

foodBy Raumi Souza

The second annual Fair of Family Agriculture  took place between the 22nd - 24th of July in Itaetê located in the Chapada Diamantina region of Bahia. The event, in conjunction with the Traditional Farmers Festival of Itaetê, was conducted by MST,  Bahia for Agricultural Development (EBDA) and the Rural Workers Union,  and gave exposure to family agricultural products, camps and settlements of the MST and other social movements. The event was also host to various lectures and workshops.

Family farming in the Chapada Diamantina region is characterized by several agricultural activities, of which cattle ranching, and farming of castor beans, corn and peanuts account for most of their monetary income, and almost all of their marketing efforts. These crops are used to supplement  the  income  earned from  sugar-apples, cashews, sugar cane, watermelon, pumpkin, andu beans, sweet potatoes, bananas, oranges, corda beans, yams, cassava, and other crops  grown in the region. All of the crops share the same space, making up a diversified combination..

In this context, there are non-agricultural activities for the development of family farming in the region, such as community-based rural tourism, promoting the exchange of knowledge and the interrelationship of people with the local culture along with visits without environmental degradation.

The second annual Fair of  Family Agriculture and the Traditional Farmers Festival in Itaetê integrated  various cultural activities, lots of music, theater and artistic presentations
by rural workers.

The activities took place along with the first seminar on community-based rural tourism, in order to integrate small farmers and promote the marketing of the settlers, squatters and small regional producers.  Farmers in the municipalities of Itaetê, Iramaia, Boa Vista do Tupim, Mucugê and Wagner participated in the event, with a total audience of 2,000 families.

translated by Elissa Osterland