O Problema da terra no Brasil : latifúndios e reforma agrária : medidas de proteção ao rurícola


  • Edgar Teixeira Leite


Geografia Agrícola;, Reforma Agrária;, Agricultura.


The author begins his article showing that the agrarian question is related to three fundamental aspects of our economy:

  1. A) the nourishment of a population which increases his acquisitive capacity; and supply

of vegetal raw material for our industries;

  1. B) creation of an internal market for our growing industrialization;
  2. C) necessity of settlement of our workman; in order to equilibrate the rural masses and the urban zones.

            The origin of the rural property in Brazil is found in the latifundium. First, the king of Portugal and after the "capitães-mores" set up the system of possessing large landed estates, which dominates till now our agrarian structure.

            Much land and few people - not too much technological capital not only regarding agrarian tools but also technical knowledge brought as consequence the extensive agriculture and more that predatory practices, in fact, real ravage.

            Next the author appreciates the latifundium problems. The soil rapidly exhausted brought consequently the itinerant agricultural which began the searching of new areas in order to reach fertile soils. Only the sugar culture is an exception. This wandering of cultures from place to place it is not felt only within the regions. The coffee, for instance, in 150 years traveled from Tijuca forest, in Distrito Federal to Paraná lands, and from Mato Grosso to Paraguai, destructing in i ts way large extensions o f virgin forests.

            A recent inquiry, promoted by the Comissão Nacional de Política Agrária, in collaboration with IBGE showed how is necessary, in Brazil, let the land rest for at least, three years.

            The small property is not good enough for the rural man, because not having large areas to displace his farmings he can obtain only very poor crops.

            To the great property has much more possibility of surviving than the small one.

            In the present hour in which the harms of the great property are appointed, and it appears as the reason of the underdevelopment of our agriculture it is necessary to examine, carefully, what it has really represented in the economy of this country.

            It is from the extended coffee plantations and from that of cocoa that come 70% of our "divisions", which make sure the presence of Brazil in the international markets.

            The concept, of great property is variable from region to region. But it is, generally, mixed up with that of a latifundium, more or less improdutive.

            On account of the different structures of the continental feature of Brazil, each region needs a different treatment, specialize; to make them dependent of a unique legislation it will be of no use.

            In the so-called zones of weary lands there are areas poorly cultivated, with houses "pau-a-pique", covered with "sapé" or straw, without the most elementary conditions of hygiene, where numerous families live a miserable and hopeless life.

            The workman can only be successful it behinds the land, the principal element of agriculture production, he can have others factors of success as capital, technical assistance, and the assurance to place his crops in the market.

            The minifundium, not protected, can not settle the demography.

            The agrarian reform plan could be executed prudently, under certain conditions, that the author points out.

            Finally, the author presents one of the most important aspects for a land politics in Brazil: the rural property face to face 'the credit for agriculture. The land is not worth on account of the insecurity of the property titles.

            The system of the Registro Torrens:, suggested by Rui Barbosa, when Minister of the Treasury Department could solve this problem.

            By the Registro Torrens, the property has the situation of a credit bill, easily transferred by simple endorsement.

            Another good measure it would be that assure the expurgation of the titles of the property if it had suffered any impugnation, of titles and limits; it would be, in this way out of any judicious action demanding the possession of the land.

             It would be certainly a revolutionary measure but a righteous one by the necessity to give the land the safety it deserves, as well as a credit source and the complete stability the rural property needs.