(Rio de Janeiro, Thursday June 21st)
A march organized by La Vía Campesina this Thursday the 21st will be denouncing agribusiness’ false solutions, through large landholdings and poisoning of food.
“Agribusiness is Brazil’s lie.” With this slogan more than 250 militants of La Vía Campesina Brazil and International occupied the National Confederation of Agriculture’s (NCA) space, set up on the Mauá pier in the port of Rio de Janeiro, to denounce the agribusiness discourse that falsely includes sustainable agriculture. The AgroBrasil stand, promoted by the NCA, Embrapa, Sebrae and the multinational corporations Monsanto and JBS proposes new technologies for producing food and, according them, preserving the environment. What is more, they will be putting together a document that combines the proposals of different agribusiness companies, which they will present in the official Rio+20 conference.
Via Campesina militants put up posters throughout the whole NCA space, denouncing the abusive practice of using agrochemicals, which poisons the food of the Brazilian population. They extended banners as well and organized a direct action in order to raise consciousness around the high consumption of poisons in the crops on Brazilians’ dinner tables; Brazil is the largest consumer of agrochemicals in the whole world. “Did you take your dosis of poison today?” asked the protestors.
“We came here to denounce and so that the whole population knows that the farce being promoted by the NCA that agribusiness in agriculture is sustainable.” ?? also said that, among the multiple social and environmental problems that emerge out of this production model, the use of agrochemicals is one of the most serious.
Surprise action and march
The protest took the organizers and visitors of this space connected to Rio+20 by surprise. Many supported the action, which was done completely peacefully, and joined in the march organized by Via Campesina, from the Sambódromo to the Mauá pier.
The protesters marched in line all the way to the NCA stand, which was where both actions took place. “Here, agribusiness is discussing false solutions to capitalism. We are here to reject these false solutions and support food sovereignty. The people are only sovereign when they produce their own food with their own seeds and without the use of agrochemicals”, said Dilei, militant from the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) in Paraíba.
The Via Campesina movements propose, in opposition to agribusiness, food sovereignty, which consists of giving farmers and peasants the dignified conditions to produce healthy food for the population, with public policies that give incentive to family-based agriculture and respect traditional knowledge and nature.