This article presents a reconstruction of the process, while highlighting involved actors, as well as their demands and interests, ideas, and main forums. Despite its limitations and conflicts, the Pnapo is a benchmark and a political achievement, having insured the agroecological agenda in the public policies inter-related to rural development, food sovereignty, and the human right to adequate food.
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Agroecology is a contemporary approach inserted in the construction of public policies that are concerned with rural development, food sovereignty, and the human right to adequate food DHAA , in Portuguese. It has to be understood in the context of the agri-food system and the Brazilian political conjuncture since , when support policies related to family farming and food and nutrition security promotion gradually gained prominence.
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But it was from to when agroecology found its way into the governmental and decision agenda of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil. Family farming , in the perspective here adopted, encompasses the peasantry Wanderley, ; Ploeg, , and is understood as the main social category of the agroecological proposal. Several terminologies were historically used referring to the same subject, such as peasant, small farmer, landsman, subsistence farmer, and family farmer. In addition to being conceptual, this discussion also has a normative aspect.
In Brazil, family farmer and family entrepreneur are defined by the Law 11 , from the 24 th of July of , with the alterations that followed. They are those who own an area smaller than four fiscal modules, employ mainly family workforce on their economic activities, and have a minimum percentage of the family income originated from economic activities of its establishment or enterprise, or from an establishment or enterprise run by the family.
According to the law, foresters, fish farmers, extractivists, fishermen, indigenous peoples, and those who are part of remaining communities of rural quilombos and other traditional communities, are also considered farmers Lei , The term agroecology exists since the s. Gliessman understands agroecology as a derivative of ecology and agronomy, under a strong influence from traditional farming systems from developing countries, mainly indigenous and peasant, which started to be recognized by several researchers as important examples of the management of ecologically founded agroecosystems.
Its strategy, of systemic nature, considers the participation of farmers, community organizations, and the relationship of articulated rural societies at the local level. Starting in , the strategy became the political agenda contrary to the advance of the agribusiness over territories, and the construction of a peasant agriculture, which disputes public policies for its effectiveness. Based on those constant disputes in society in favor of a development model built upon agroecology as insurance to food and nutritional security, the agroecological movement places itself actively in the construction of the National Policy for Agroecology and Organic Production Pnapo , in Portuguese.
The goal of this work is to understand how agroecology was placed on the governmental agenda, which decisions were made, and in which context it occurred and developed the formulation process of the Pnapo and the National Plan for Agroecology and Organic Production Planapo , in Portuguese. This methodological tool helped to elaborate questions and analyses, and raise problems regarding our subject. In addition, we incorporate the approach of the public policy cycle and neoinstitutionalism into this study. The public policy cycle offers a proposition analysis based on the idea of political process phases.
According to Capella , those two models stand out as important tools in the process of analysis of public policies formulation and governmental agenda changes. They emphasize mainly the definition of a given agenda, and they try to understand why some questions get included on the political agenda, but others do not.
The formulation of the agenda, considered to be the first stage of the public policy cycle, is the inclusion of a given plea or need on the agenda, in the priority list of the public power. The second stage is the definition and analysis of the problem, consisting of the identification and the delimitation of a present or potential problem to the community, the determination of possible alternatives for its solution or fulfillment, the evaluation of actual costs, and the establishment of priorities.
The formulation stage includes the selection and specification of the alternative considered most convenient, followed by a statement that declares the decision taken, by explicitly defining its objectives and its legal, administrative, and financial frameworks Saravia, ; Frey, ; Souza, According to Kingdon , a policy is placed on the governmental agenda and starts to be part of the decision agenda when the three streams problems, solutions, and political dynamics couple. This happens in specific circumstances that he calls policy windows. These windows are open in certain moments, and their opening is caused by three mechanisms: indicators, key events, and feedback of governmental actions.
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In this context policy window is a shortcut to the insertion of problems on the agenda. Frey considers the notion that this process does not always occur in sequence and stages, which would be an ideal type of political process. The division is a theoretical perspective. Hence, according to the model, in practice not all constitutive stages are present.
Therefore, the Pnapo is placed in a context that sets parameters regarding the constraints of public policies formulation. That context is characterized by the aforementioned modern agriculture, which was consolidated in the Brazilian agribusiness. In order to define our objectives, we try to formulate the key questions and to delineate this study by seeking a narrative that problematizes reality.
We resort to literature review as a tool for constructing the object, configuring the questions, and implementing interpretations. In developing our thesis, during the years and , we used three main methodological resources: documentary research, semi-structured interviews, and secondary data analysis. The documentary research was conducted through 15 texts, official documents, technical notes, and research reports prepared by the federal government, scholars of the rural and agroecological subject, and non-governmental organizations NGOs.
In addition, we used audio transcriptions and reports of the three first meetings of the National Commission for Agroecology and Organic Production Cnapo , in Portuguese , which had an agenda related to debates regarding the elaboration of the first Planapo. Furthermore, official governmental publications, such as laws, decrees, rules, and promotional material of politics were also used.
The semi-structured interviews were conducted with social society representatives, social movements and entities in the agroecological field, and governmental executives involved in the process of elaborating the Pnapo and the Planapo. The interviews followed a pre-established script, seeking to identify actors involved in the related public policy, the ideas constructed by them, the selection and negotiation process, achieved advances, persistent challenges, and main merits of the policy.
Another criterion was the participation in moments related to decisions on the governmental agenda and to the formulation of the Pnapo as a representative of an entity, social movement, and political body. Altogether, thirteen interviews were made: six of them with government representatives and seven from civil society. Concerning the quantity of interviews, we took into account the saturation point , in other words: the performance of a given number of interviews, up to a point when the inclusion of additional interviews would not add new information and the indication, by the interviewed themselves, of new people to be interviewed.
A qualitative exploratory research, using content analyses method , based on the transcription of the interviews, was conducted.
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That set of documents allowed us to access the actors involved, their demands and interests, the arenas and forums which construct them, the reference to the institutionalized public policy, and the changes it received throughout the development of the policy. It was also possible to reconstruct the process with its main challenges, limits, and advances throughout the elaboration of the Pnapo and the Planapo.
The results of the research showed that the agroecological approach gained importance in several public policies from The convergent action of the agroecological and organic movements, notably the organizations of female rural workers and peasants, combined with a favorable political moment, was a fundamental key factor to the inclusion of this subject on the governmental agenda and the formulation of the Pnapo and Planapo. The March of the Daisies was organized, in , , , and , by a group of organizations, under the coordination of the National Confederation of Agriculture Workers Contag , in Portuguese.
It combined a number of women and feminist movements, associations, and unions. Those movements claim, propose, and ensure social, economic, political, sexual, and reproductive rights for both rural and forest women Aguiar, Their claims, organized around those aspects, connected structural issues of the general subject of rural workers to specific demands of women. According to testimony, because of the role the MMA was already performing in this agenda, it was designated by the President to establish the dialogue between civil society and the Brazilian government, in coordination with other ministries.
A draft was presented to the National Coordination of Agroecology ANA , in Portuguese and to the organic production Commissions for considerations and opinions. This first document of the GTI , proposing a National Plan for Agroecology and Organic Production, contained five parts: an introduction, the objective of the plan, its dimensions, and implementation strategies. Agroecology is presented in the document as a possibility to improve the sustainability of agroecosystems Brasil, b.
Its suggestion to the MMA was to widen the dialogue, with the introduction of five regional Seminars to consult civil society organizations, as well as a national seminar. The Federal Government was also invited to participate in the workshop. This document contains perceptions of networks and social movements in the field of agroecology concerning the policy proposition of the government. It presents three premises of the agroecological field to the debate; considerations in regard of the process of elaboration and negotiation of the policy, and the guidelines for the regional seminars.
Concerning the premises, the first one indicated the active participation of a diverse group of actors involved in the construction of agroecology —who historically constructed it respecting diversities and territorialities— as fundamental. The second one stated that agroecology should not be limited to the promotion of a niche market.
The focus must be centered on the promotion of family farming, as well as on traditional and indigenous populations as the sociocultural and economic bases to rural development. The third premise deals with the development model, especially regarding rural development. According to the document, agroecology organizations saw the political context in which the debate was held as contradictory, but still with a few perspectives of improvement:. At the same time that transgenic production was receiving clearance, the use of agrochemicals was increasing and the forest and mining code was changing, etc.
Moreover, it had an extremely limited coverage and budget. The government has the need to demonstrate its commitment to questions related to climate change, water, and biodiversity conservation, etc. The ANA organized several regional events and mobilized approximately representatives of social movement entities, civil society organizations, and regional and state networks, as well as professionals of universities and governmental bodies. A new version of the Decree of Pnapo and the Brazil Agroecological Plan was submitted to the civil society at a special meeting.
The gathering, organized by the civil society, brought together 38 organizations of workers conformed by peasants, river dwellers, and forest populations.
The Planapo , which was already in a construction process, was placed on the decision agenda. However, there was still need for decisions, complements, and adjustments. In addition to the governmental bodies that composed the Ciapo , and the social organizations and governmental bodies in the Cnapo , the construction of the Planapo also involved nationwide organizations and social movements related to agroecology.