Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Estudos Sociedade e Agricultura]]> vol. 4 num. SE lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Agrarian Reform in Brazil</b>: <b>a series of missed appointments between social movements and state policies</b>]]> President Luís Ignacio Lula da Silva was elected with the proposal for an important program of agrarian reform, family agriculture support and struggle against poverty. Paradoxically, the support to the agrarian reform seems to have stagnated even with the great influence of landless workers' movements. How to explain that this seems at first to be a contradiction and, furthermore, how do we evaluate debates within Brazilian society and the federal government on this theme? The article analyzes the tensions, debates, advances and impasses of the past ten years of agrarian reform policy in Brazil looking at the interaction between social movements and public policies. <![CDATA[<b>Space, social theory and Brazilian social thought</b>]]> This article seeks to present a research agenda under development by the author since his PhD and which is focused on a discussion about the role of "space" in social theory and Brazilian social thought. One of the theses which I sustain is related to the possibility of interpreting spatial images as cognitive modes of social life and not just descriptive categories of landscapes. Besides, I argue that these images perform a central role in non-central societies, which originated at the margins of European classical modernity. I also suggest that it is possible to analyze Brazilian social thought using this analytical tool. <![CDATA[<b>Public research agenda in face of possibilities for agricultural development</b>]]> Recent advances in biotechnology have altered the roles performed by public and private sectors in the process of agricultural research. Unlike what occurred during the Green Revolution, the private sector has been the main actor in this "new phase" of agricultural research. On the other hand, the Public Agricultural Research Institutes (PARIs) have made efforts to keep up with such advances and, in certain cases, even anticipate them. Certain PARIs are also working with different types of research. Considering the diversity of technological possibilities, the plurality of strategies has become an interesting option to PARIs. <![CDATA[<b>The Brazilian rural world</b>: <b>access to goods and services and coutryside-city integration</b>]]> The rural world is a space of life, a place of residence for a large number of Brazilians, where they come from and where they experience the world. The theme of the paper will be the forms and social processes that assure the rural population access to the goods and services produced and available in Brazilian society. This access is assumed to be an indicator of the participation of the Brazilians living in the countryside in the results of the social progress obtained by society in general and the effective expression of the constitutional principle of equal opportunities for all citizens. The official definitions of the rural environment in Brazil always take it to be the area surrounding urban centers, many of which are small agglomerations. As a result offers of employment and services are not widely available locally, which results, on the one hand, in the precariousness that can be observed in many Brazilian rural areas and, on the other, in the need for local populations to have to travel, often covering large distances. <![CDATA[<b>GM soy in Brazil</b>: <b>limits to the technological dissemination process</b>]]> The emergence of GM soy has been at the core of an intense debate, revolving around the advantages and disadvantages of its adoption as well as the behaviour of those institutions involved in the regulatory framework of such a phenomenon. This paper aims at assessing the dissemination of genetically modified soy in Brazilian agriculture in the period between 1998 and 2005, from the standpoint of the institutional framework related to GMO technology. Thus, attention is given to the strategy adopted by the Monsanto company in the light of the difficulties emerging throughout the process that led to the authorization to the production and marketing of soybean in Brazil. The main actors in this process are identified as also the institutional framework involved in the marketing relations between innovator and users. <![CDATA[<b>Multifunctionality of agriculture and territorial development</b>: <b>implications and challenges in combining the approaches</b>]]> The paper addresses the relationships between the concepts of multifunctionality of agriculture and territory with the aim of discussing the implications and challenges of uniting the approaches of multi-functionality and territorial development. Its reasoning is based on the results of field research in eight areas or territories located in different regions of the country whose focus was to identify if territorial dynamics and collective projects in these areas take into account family farmers in their multiple functions and social heterogeneity. <![CDATA[<b>Brazilian agribusiness's insertion in global markets</b>]]> This paper analyzes the insertion of Brazilian agribusiness in the world market, with a focus on food products, given the prevailing conditions of international competition. Although some activities reveal a more salient trend toward higher levels of added value and product differentiation, the exports of unprocessed or bulk commodities have become more important. Empirical evidence reveals a discrepancy between the Brazilian food business's pattern in international trade relations and internationally prevailing trends. As a result, the fact that Brazilian agribusiness has become highly complex and that some activities have evolved towards sophistication and product differentiation, especially in recent years, has not resulted in competitive advantages other than those stemming from natural resources and agricultural innovations.<hr/>Este trabalho procura analisar a inserção do agronegócio brasileiro nos mercados mundiais, com ênfase nos produtos alimentares, tendo em vista as condições de concorrência predominantes. Embora alguns segmentos do agronegócio venham revelando uma tendência mais acentuada de agregação de valor e diferenciação de produtos, observa-se uma maior capacidade de inserção nos mercados mundiais naquelas atividades produtoras de commodities, com grau inferior de processamento. As evidências empíricas analisadas neste artigo revelam uma discrepância entre o padrão de inserção do agronegócio brasileiro nos mercados mundiais e as tendências predominantes internacionalmente. O fato de o agronegócio alimentar brasileiro ter se tornado altamente complexo e diferenciado não se projetou, em especial nos últimos anos, nas relações de comércio exterior, através de vantagens competitivas não lastreadas apenas em recursos naturais e inovações agropecuárias. <![CDATA[<b>Territorial dynamics and the complexities of the agrarian frontier areas in eastern Amazon</b>]]> This paper discusses the ongoing territorial dynamics and projects in the southeast region of Pará and also offers insights for regional development. In this region, governmental policies have been the main incentive for the current territorial dynamics but they were unable to boost the multiple functions of the family farm farming. In the case of the territorial development policies under analysis, one reason why this multi-functionality is be considered with incentives is due to its sector-biased policy application with an unequal involvement of the institutions related to the family farm or even due to the ignorance of other regional sectors and these policies' actors <![CDATA[<b>Agroindustrialization as a strategy of social reproduction of the family farm</b>]]> The article discusses the process of agroindustrialization of the family agroindustry production in northern gaucho with focus on Medium High Uruguay territory in Rio Grande do Sul (RS). The aim is to discuss the so-called family farm in this place from its historical process of emergence and establishment, potentialities and current problems such as legislation, production of raw material, income generation, produced products etc. The study concludes that the family agroindustry constitutes an important strategy of social reproduction and rural development as it is responsible for the settlement of families in the field, the diversification of productive activities in rural properties, families' income generation among other roles. <![CDATA[<b>Politics and agrarianism in Brazil</b>]]> This text recreates the discursive elements of the Brazilian Communist Party's (PCB) peasant sindicalism consolidated in the pre-1964 era. The author argues that this agrarianism may shed light on the current discussion about the expectations of intellectuals and mediators in relation to the performance of the landless in the Brazilian agrarian reform. The work of Caio Prado Jr. and Alberto Passos Guimarães is revisited, with the question of the weakness of the peasantry being one of the key points. The text also seeks to associate these classical ideas with Luiz Werneck Vianna's interpretation of the landless mobilization of the mid-1990s as the emblematic social conquest of Brazilian political democracy, notably after the enactment of the 1988 Constitution. <![CDATA[<b>"What kind of Agrarian Reform, after all?"</b>: <b>Revisiting an unfinished debate in Brazil</b>]]> In the present article, the land reform issue is examined in three angles: state action, the existing demand for agrarian reform, and current academic debates. From the analysis of different perspectives, this article indicates, as a possible answer to its title's question, the concentration of human, financial and logistical resources in the region that ranges from Minas Gerais to Maranhão. Expropriation and acquisition mechanisms are possible because land is cheaper in northeastern Brazil, considering the country's paucity of resources and the need to maximize the governmental effectiveness. Because of the expressive presence of African descendents, the suggested choices must also include ethnic issues. Land reform could thus become an expressive policy in Brazil that may reduce rural poverty with effective results, from which many social segments may benefit.