Blogging “Zero Hunger: A Brazilian (his)tory” (Part 1: 10 points to defeat hunger)

Reading the 2010 publication from the Brazilian government covering the acclaimed “Zero Hunger” program up to that point (edited by my friend Adriana Aranha, former Chief of Staff for the Zero Hunger programs). Right in the inside cover of the first volume is the “10 Point Agenda to Defeat Hunger”, and it is pretty awesome. Thought it worth a couple minutes to translate here:

  1. Combat plantations [nb: latifúndios” are an historically exploitative form of plantation agriculture in Brazil; examples of contemporary slavery are still periodically uncovered there. It is notably honest and important that this is “step 1” in combating hunger.]
  2. Combat large-scale monocultures lacking corresponding areas for the cultivation and nourishment of the people employed on them.
  3. Reasonable use of all cultivated areas surrounding large urban centers for subsistence (self-supply) agriculture, principally for perishable goods like fruits, vegetables and greens that may be damaged by long-distance transport/without refrigeration infrastructure.
  4. Intensification of food production using polycultures on small-scale farms.
  5. Intensive mechanization of the small-scale farms that all of the productive areas of our agricultural economy depend on. [nb: Given other elements of the agenda, one presumes this might be “appropriate” mechanization, not the kind that replaces all labor with large-scale monoculture-suited industrial machinery?]
  6. Adequate and appropriate banking and financial support for agriculture, along with the assurance of good and sufficient minimum prices.
  7. Progressive reduction, up to complete exemption, of land taxes for land entirely dedicated to subsistence [self-supply-based] agriculture.
  8. Support and fostering of cooperatives, which can serve as a powerful lever for our internal agrifood markets.
  9. Intensification of technical studies in Food Science and (holistic) Nutrition (a branch of medicine that deals with nutrition in all of its aspects: health, pathology, and therapeutic), in order to gain a better understanding of the real value of food and diet.
  10. Planning of a national campaign for the formation of better dietary habits, that involves not only knowledge of the established principles of health and hygiene like a love of the land, but also the basics of agricultural and domestic economies, and the foundations of the technical struggles to halt erosion.

An interesting and varied list. Thoughts?

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