Bahia is the protagonist of yet another historic conquest. On the 16th, the Bahia Legislative Assembly (ALBA) approved the State Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production (PEAPQ). The new law promotes organic and agroecological production and sustainable extractivism that favor the production, development and access to organic and healthy food for rural and urban populations. This achievement represents an important step in the responsible use of natural resources, as well as in guaranteeing sovereignty and food and nutritional security.
The approval of Law No. 24,730/2023, which establishes the PEAPQ, consolidates a sustainability model that will impact the entire state. It is a victory for organizations, movements and farmers from various territories in Bahia, who fought for this for a long time.
“For more than eight years we have been hitting this key. I saw several articulations and mobilizations in this perspective of guaranteeing that ALBA could put it on the agenda and forward it to a vote. With the election of Jerônimo (Rodrigues, governor), in his first act, by signaling support for peasant family farming, the bill, put to the vote, was approved and this is something symbolic. It is a very important achievement for rural social movements that have always given priority to this struggle”, declares the state coordinator of the Movement of Small Farmers (MPA), Edivagno Rios.
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For him, approval is the result of years of resistance and benefits not only the rural working class, but society as a whole. “Since the State guarantees, through public policies, means, mechanisms to encourage agroecological production, the production of healthy food for peasants and peasants, this production serves for self-consumption, but also for supplying local markets and urban centers. In this way, it also benefits the urban population who will have access to quality food, healthy food, thus improving their quality of life”, declares Edivagno.
He defends that it is not possible to discuss quality health without discussing the issue of healthy food. “It is a law that will encourage the increase of agroecological production. And this production goes to the urban centers by workers, peasants or workers from the periphery. So, this means an investment that will meet this dimension of life of the population”, celebrates Rios when stating that the MPA has also discussed the issue of urban gardens.
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“We believe that this law can benefit and guarantee incentives for vegetable gardens to be developed in urban centers and outskirts. Politics has, in a way, driven this process of producing healthy food in sufficient quantity to feed the population of Bahia. For us, while MPA is something that marks a lot, ”she says. He also points out that this achievement does not only favor the peasant class, but the entire working class, and is an important step towards achieving food sovereignty in the state. “It is the peasantry’s struggle to reaffirm this way of being, living and producing healthy food, taking care of the environment and nature”, he says.
Expectation for resources
With this victory of the working class, the expectation now is that the government can also approve the resources for the implementation of the new legislation. “The Law being sanctioned, our wish is that the government can approve the budget to guarantee and encourage policies that guarantee these production conditions”, says Rios.
In addition to offering healthy foods, the approved Law projects Bahia positively for the country. “For the state it is something very positive because it shows Brazil that we have a government concerned with the production of organic food, engaged with the environment and nature. This serves as an example for other regions,” he says.
Agroecology and Agrochemicals: two distinct production logics
A challenge for the government is to face the different forms of cultivation and production in the countryside. There is family farming committed to nourishing and feeding for subsistence and there is agribusiness monoculture, with the abusive use of pesticides. Edivagno points out that in the production of large agribusinesses, the use of poison and, mainly, the aerial spraying of pesticides have contaminated many communities.
“On the one hand, the government shows interest in supporting agroecology, an alternative to feed the people and guarantee a healthy quality of life to live well. On the other hand, aerial spraying and agribusiness production destroy all forms of life, proving that production is aimed at profit for export”, declares the activist, highlighting dichotomies and denouncing that peasant family farming does not receive the same support it has the agribusiness.
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“Agribusiness pollutes nature, the environment and reproduces diseases. Peasant family farming takes care of the environment, produces health through healthy food, but does not have the same subsidy. This is a very big contradiction for the state government to take a stand and support agroecology”, claims Rios.
Source: BdF Bahia
Editing: Gabriela Amorim
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