Xico Graziano made selective and distorted use of academic articles in the CPI on the MST

Wednesday, June 28, 2023
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By Vicente P. M. de Azevedo Marques, Caio Galvão de França and Mauro Eduardo Del Grossi | From Brasil de Fato | Editor: Katia Marko | Original URL: https://mst.org.br/2023/06/28/xico-graziano-fez-uso-seletivo-e-distorcido-de-artigos-academicos-na-cpi-sobr

Article reveals: 'Graziano omitted data that demonstrate that settlements are important sources of job and income generation'

Francisco (Xico) Graziano Neto's oral presentation at the Commission of Parliamentary Inquiry (CPI) on the MST made selective and distorted use of published academic articles to try to legitimize his convictions about agrarian reform. He advanced statements and conclusions that have no foundation in these articles, without clarifying that they corresponded to elaborations of his own authorship, the vast majority of them without criteria, references and known scientific sources.

Xico Graziano omitted data and conclusions from the cited articles that demonstrate, based on the data he considered valid, that settlements are important sources of job and income generation in rural areas.

The oral presentation by Francisco (Xico) Graziano Neto, guest of the Public Hearing of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on the Landless Workers Movement (MST), was held on June 13, 2023 and is available at this link, between the period 2:09:57 and 3h59min51s.

As authors of two of the studies cited by him, and without access to the written document delivered by the guest to the CPI, we have to clarify about this presentation:

1. According to the study Budgetary and Financial Aspects of Agrarian Reform in Brazil 2000-2005, the average cost of settling a family in 2004-2005, weighted by the number of families settled in each region and by the means of obtaining it, was R$ 31 ,0 thousand in 2005 values (MARQUES, 2007, p. 73). The value of BRL 39,100 cited by the guest corresponds to the average for the country, without considering the relative weight of each region and method of obtaining. This average cost includes expenses for obtaining land, implantation (initial credits and technical assistance) and development (subsidized credit, Pronaf).

The weighted average value for the settlement of a family updated between December 2005 and December 2022 is equal to R$ 62.2 thousand when corrected by the IPCA, from the IBGE.

2. In 2004-2005 the average expenses related only to obtaining land (preparatory actions, payment of land and improvements) for the settlement of a family were R$ 21.1 thousand in the case of expropriations and R$ 47, 9 thousand in the case of acquisitions (MARQUES, 2007, p. 67). This corresponds, respectively, to R$ 54.1 thousand and R$ 122.7 thousand in values updated to December 2022 by the IPCA.

3. The values mentioned by the guest of BRL 145.0 thousand, on average, for obtaining land and BRL 217,0 thousand, on average, for total costs in 2023, if they were based on this study, do not indicate the deflator used (the correction would be higher than the variation of the IGP-M). If they were not based on this study, they do not show the source used by it.

4. In December 2005, the weighted average value for the settlement of a family for an indefinite period corresponded to approximately 103 monthly minimum wages in force, which contrasts with the value of 169 minimum wages presented by the guest after the supposed application of deflators other than the IPCA.

5. The guest did not address the relationship between expenses for the settlement of families and their benefits for these people and for society, which are included in the same cited study. This study reveals that Family Farming (including settled farming) was the activity that most generated jobs when demand increased (MARQUES, 2007, p. 79-80). According to the Economic Research Institute Foundation of the University of São Paulo (Fipe/USP), in 2002, for each increase of R$ 1 million in final demand, Family Farming generated 213 jobs (occupations), 136 of which were direct, 31 indirectly and 46 induced. This value was higher than that of Non-Family Agriculture (84 jobs), Civil Construction (81) and Automobiles, Trucks and Buses (55), among other sectors. In other words, in 2005 figures, Family Farming generated one occupation for every R$5.7 thousand generated, while, for example, in Non-Family Farming and Civil Construction this occurred for every R$14.4 thousand.

6. The article A portrait of agrarian reform in southern Brazil based on the 2017 Agricultural Census, cited by the guest, shows that the average annual Gross Family Income of each agrarian reform establishment in Brazil was R$ 19.6 thousand. In addition, these establishments received, on average, BRL 4.9 thousand from Retirements and Pensions and BRL 0.8 thousand from Government Programs (MARQUES; FRANÇA; DEL GROSSI, 2022, p. 56, Table 12). The article underestimated the income of agrarian reform establishments, as it did not consider the income resulting from the value added by rural agro-industries, since there are no adequate data for this. Also, for this reason, it did not calculate the Net Family Income.

At the hearing, the guest presented another table from the same article (MARQUES; FRANÇA; DEL GROSSI, 2022 p. 55, Table 11) to calculate the average income and revenue, but considered a different number of establishments, without citing the other source used by him. As a result, it obtained an average value of R$ 11,500 per year. Of this amount, he discounted 70% as “costs”, also without citing the source considered, and thus calculated the amount of R$ 3.5 thousand of a supposed average “net” family income among the settled at the national level. The values cited by him as relative to the so-called annual “non-agricultural income” (R$ 4.5 thousand) are also not included in the cited article and have no known source. The criteria used by the guest to classify the rents and revenues of the establishments is different from that provided for in Law No. 11,326, of 2006, and in its complementary norms, and used by the IBGE.

7. That is, contrary to what was presented by the guest, without any known source, it is wrong to state that, according to the article based on the 2017 Agricultural Census, in land reform establishments the so-called “non-agricultural income” was higher than income Gross household for the country average.

8. The guest omitted one of the main conclusions of the article cited by him, which compares the agrarian reform establishments with their similar neighbors in their immediate surroundings (municipality) (MARQUES; FRANÇA; DEL GROSSI, 2022, p. 56, Table 13) . The first major piece of evidence is that settlements are a major source of employment in the countryside: in 82% of the municipalities analyzed in the country, the average number of people employed in agrarian reform establishments was significantly greater than or equal to that of their neighbors. These results are in line with extensive literature that points to the benefits of agrarian reform. This superiority occurred in all Federation Units, especially in the South (91% of the total) and Southeast (90%). Not only in terms of occupation, but also as a source of income, settlements stand out. In the national average: in 55% of the municipalities the average Gross Value of Production was significantly greater than or equal to that of its neighbors. This advantage was greater in the South (60%), Northeast (59%) and North (55%) regions. When analyzing revenues from commercialization of production, the picture is very similar: in practically half (49%) of the municipalities, the average value of their Revenues was significantly higher or equal to that of their neighbors. This proportion was especially higher in the South Region (55%).

9. The guest compares the value of expenses for the settlement of a family calculated in 2005 and corrected by him for 2023 (without known deflator) with the value of annual rents and revenues calculated in 2017, but without the necessary correction for 2023. with expenses being overestimated and incomes and revenues underestimated, which results in a bias for the analysis.

10. Contrary to what the guest stated in his oral presentation, the study on agrarian reform establishments based on the Agricultural Census did not use the CPFs of settled people. The applied method is clearly described in the third part of the article cited by him (MARQUES; FRANÇA; DEL GROSSI, 2022, p. 44-46). The data produced and supplied by the IBGE, including the special tabulations, do not identify the CPFs of the people interviewed by the Census, in strict compliance with the legislation on the protection of personal data and on statistical secrecy.

11. The article quoted by the guest was prepared based on data from a nationwide study carried out through the Cooperation Agreement between INCRA and IBGE. The report of this study Land reform establishments in the 2017 Agricultural Census, of August 2021, was accepted by the TCU for the purpose of complying with item 9.8.2 of Judgment/TCU/nº 1.976/2017-Plenary. This item provided for the presentation, by INCRA, of indicators on the efficiency, effectiveness and effectiveness of the public policy of agrarian reform, including aspects of (i) “levels of productivity achieved in the settlements”; “type and degree of exploitation of agricultural activities by the settlers”; and “self-sustainability of these settlements, with regard to the objective of guaranteeing a minimum income for subsistence with the exploitation of the land and the promotion of the well-being of settled workers, with the fixation of man on the land and his contribution to sustainable economic development” .

12. The distortions in reading the data of the articles mentioned by the guest do not invalidate his suggestion of improving the official surveys to identify the specificities of the information related to the agrarian reform establishments.

* Vicente P. M. de Azevedo Marques, doctoral candidate in the Graduate Program in Rural Development at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (PGDR/Ufrgs); Caio Galvão de França, doctoral student in the Graduate Program in Rural Development at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (PGDR/Ufrgs) and Mauro Eduardo Del Grossi, professor at the University of Brasília (UnB).


MARQUES, Vicente P. M. A. Budgetary and financial aspects of agrarian reform in Brazil 2000-2005. Brasilia: MDA, INCRA, 2007. 103 p. (NEAD Studies, 18). Available at: https://repositorio.iica.int/handle/11324/20094

MARQUES, Vicente P. M. de A.; France, Caio G. de; Del Grossi, Mauro Eduardo. A portrait of agrarian reform in southern Brazil based on the 2017 agricultural census. DRd – Desenvolvimento Regional Em Debate, nº 12 (ed. esp. Dossie), p. 38–64, 2022. Available at: https://doi.org/10.24302/drd.v12ied.esp.Dossie.3889

** This is an opinion article. The authors' view does not necessarily express the editorial line of the newspaper Brasil de Fato.