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Family and collective logics in land reform settlements in Unai (Minais Gerais State, Brazil)

Sabourin E., Nascimento de Oliveira M., Valadares Xavier J.H.. 2007. Estudos Sociedade e Agricultura, 3 : 21p..

The public policy of agrarian reform in Brazil still gives priority to collective organization of the settlement, of the services and even of the agricultural production. This collective logic is promoted and institutionalized both by the State and the agrarian reform movements. Paradoxically, the settlement is based on the concession of individual land plots to a public formed mostly by former wage-earners, in the context of the promotion of family-based economic enterprises. This paper analyzes the origins and consequences of the interaction between these logics, focusing the case of land reform settlements of the municipality of Unaí, in the state of Minas Gerais. There is a tension between the individual interest of the new land-owner, the logic of the family and the collective logic dependent on the modalities of public policy. The obligation of familiar or communitarian solidarity is fed by the precariousness of the settlement process and by the unifying ideology and human values. The results in Unaí teach us that: a) the budgets and the instruments of public policy for agrarian reform are not adapted or suitable, and may become contradictory and lead to conflicts; b) in spite of such conditions and institutional environment, tools and methods for social construction of partnerships allow for a synergy between individual, familiar and collective logics; c) at the local level, the educational effort is indispensable in order to strengthen the dignity and identity of the settlers, but it will be efficient only on medium or long term. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : exploitation agricole familiale; réforme agraire; minas gerais

Thématique : Economie et politique du développement; Economie et politique foncières

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