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BOLIVIA: New Food Policy to Boost Small-Scale Farms

Artigo de Franz Chávez para o Inter-Press Service sobre a nova política boliviana para agricultura e alimentação. A proposta é interessante, por conciliar agro-negócio de exportação, segurança e soberania alimentar, agricultura familiar e elementos da cultura nativa.

LA PAZ, Jul 19, 2011 (IPS) – In the midst of heated debate with agribusiness, the Bolivian government has launched an agricultural production model aimed at boosting food sovereignty by supporting small farmers, in order to generate surpluses to cushion the swings in international food prices.

A new “law on a productive community-based agricultural revolution” combines modern scientific farming standards and techniques with ancestral indigenous traditions aimed at producing and storing food during periods of climate adversity.

The law is focused on bolstering food production in rural indigenous communities in South America’s poorest country, where native people make up 60 percent of the population.

The law, signed this month by leftwing President Evo Morales, has unleashed fears in the export-oriented agribusiness sector. But it has also drawn sharp criticism from environmentalists and indigenous leaders because it allows the use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in parts of the food production chain.

The head of Agriculture and Livestock Production and Food Sovereignty, Germán Gallardo, one of the sponsors of the law, told IPS it embodies an “inclusive policy that recognises private, mixed, individual and collective farm producers.””

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