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Symbol of the democratization of land ownership and more job opportunities and higher incomes in rural areas — but considered taboo by conservatives — agrarian reform gained historic momentum during the Lula and Dilma governments.
The two together have promoted a record number of settlements, according to Incra: 771,000 families received land ownership titles in the last 12 years, more than half of the total benefits in the entire history of land reform in Brazil.
No fewer than 3,902 settlements were established in every state in the federation, adding 51 million hectares, equal to the territory of Ceará and Mato Grosso do Sul combined — the equivalent of 56% of all land already previously made available for agrarian reform purposes throughout the history of the country.
And most important: instead of abandoning them to fend for themselves as in the past, the settlers enjoy the support of credit, technical assistance, construction and housing reform, roads construction, installation of water and electricity, high genetic quality seeds, guaranteed sale of farm production and expansion of school education levels, among other benefits. More than a piece of ground, they’ve won the right to plant, harvest and live with dignity.
Dilma, gained more legal mechanisms for land reform to help move it along, to reduce the red tape. The procedures for obtaining land titles have been simplified. The regulations for creating new settlements began to contain investment schedules for programs such as My House, My Life and Light for All.
Debt repayment became easier with discounts of up to 80%. Executive decree 2013 allows the renegotiation of the debts of 947,000 settler families, 200,000 with Pronaf. They are returned to the production credit system, mobilizing 8 million hectares for food production.
Technical assistance, already extending benefits to 349,000 families according to the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA), will be extended to another 100,000 by the end of 2014. The estimate is that in five years each settled family will generate an amount equivalent to the value of two monthly minimum wages from production. The order is: land for those who need it, faster and more safely.