“MST”
The MST 

The developmentalist policy of the Brazilian government in the 1970s during a military dictatorship generated great conflicts in southern Brazil. Small farmers struggled to survive and were often expelled from the lands on which they depended. Social movements, such as the Landless Workers Movement (The "MST") with its emblematic red flag, began to emerge to fight back. Their main strategy is through the occupation of agricultural land, particularly large estates deemed to not be fulfilling the “social function of the land.” Resisted by landowners, these MST occupations are sometimes recognized by the State as legitimate through a provision of the Brazilian constitution, but this process (as a component of the struggle for land reform) is highly contentious. 

 
Festival of the Agroecological Rice Harvest

Largest producer in Latin America

The Movement of Landless Rural Workers holds a feast during the Opening of the Agroecological Rice Harvest every year in Rio Grande do Sul. The event takes place at the Filhos de Sepé Settlement, in Viamão, near Porto Alegre. IRGA (Instituto Rio Grandense de Arroz) recognizes the MST as the largest organic rice producer in Latin America.  

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14 Land Reform Settlements

The production of organic rice from the MST involves 14 settlements in 11 municipalities in the state of Rio Grande do Sul

3,215 hectares of cultivated area

The area of cultivation of organic rice is equivalent to more than 32 km² or nearly 6 thousand football fields 

300,000  bags 

The harvest in 2020 was 300,000 1kg bags of organic rice 

364 Families 

All together, the settlements involved in the production of organic rice include 364 families of farmers.  

Agroecological Rice Harvest Festival 

in numbers (2020)

Agroecological Rice Harvest Festival 

in numbers 

Source: data taken from the MST website. Link available in the Credits section

Agroecological Rice Festival 

Jora Lima - settled farmer from the MST  

"“If the countryside and the city come together, we can change society”

The Struggle for Land

Social movements involved in the struggle for land challenge the economic hegemony and political order that sustains large agribusiness corporations. Juliana Adriano's testimony points out that even though the MST fights for the redistribution of land in Brazil, its struggle goes beyond the literal occupations of farmlands. The MST works through Environmental Education and Networking and in collective actions in “dialogue with the people.” 

 

"It is necessary to build land reform in dialogue with the people "

Juliana Adriano - MST Education Coordinator in Santa Catarina

A Movement that inspires other movements

The Landless Workers Movement (MST) has influence and serves as inspiration for several other movements engaged in the struggle for land, such as the Comuna Amarildo de Souza Settlement.

Connections

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Comuna

Amarildo

Comuna

 Amarildo

The Agrarian Reform Settlement Amarildo de Souza began as an urban occupation 

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Tekoa V'ya

Community

Tekoa V'ya

Community

Agroecological organizations are increasingly collaborating and standing in solidarity with traditional and Indigenous communities.

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Political Advocacy 

Political

Advocacy

Agroecological movements aim to make changes in political and other institutions that have effects for supporting agroecology in the city and in the countryside. 

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Three people involved in agroecological issues talk about the role of urban people in helping to address problems in the countryside. 

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Urban People and the Countryside

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Urban People and the Countryside