Access to Public Policies in the Rural Environment: A Study from the Family Farmers of the Brasileirinho Branch, Manaus – AM [1]

Access to Public Policies in the Rural Environment: A Study from the Family Farmers of the Brasileirinho Branch, Manaus – AM [1]
5 (100%) 1 vote[s]

MENDES, Adonai de Moura [2]

MENDES, Adonai de Moura. Access to Public Policies in the Rural Environment: A Study from the Family Farmers of the Brasileirinho Branch, Manaus – AM. Multidisciplinary Scientific Journal. Edition 9. Year 02, Vol. 01. pp. 5-29, December 2017. ISSN:2448-0959


The present research consists of a survey of the public policies destined to the rural environment in the branch of the Brasileirinho, east zone of Manaus, in order to verify if the community of farmers is contemplated by these public policies, as well as the perception that the same farmers have about these public policy. The first moment of the research consisted of an exploratory study about the subject and in the second moment a qualitative field research was carried out in which questionnaires and semi – structured interviews were done with a sample of 15 family farmers belonging to the Association Produtora do Brasileirinho in order to verify if public policies are being implemented. Among the sources consulted that have helped us in relation to the concepts of family agriculture and public policies are: Brose (1999), Cavallari (2015), Denardi (2001), Schneider (2004), Wanderley (1999), among others. In relation to the process of construction of the research stand out: Bourdieu (2004), Goldenberg (2004), Thiollent (1987) and Oliveira (1996). The results of the present research show that the number of farmers who have access to these public policies is still very low, most of them are still unaware of these public policies and their dynamics. The issue of disseminating information about public policies efficiently and taking into account the specificities of the community of the Brasileirinho branch is an issue that needs to be worked out jointly between the community represented by its Association and the competent bodies responsible for promoting these public policy.

Key-words: Family Agriculture, Public Policies, Brasileirinho Branch.


Reflecting on Family Agriculture is relevant to the Amazonian context in general, and more specifically to the city of Manaus, which accounts for about 75% of the population of Amazonas. The northern region of the country has the least access to the public policies aimed at serving the rural environment and this, in itself, is a problem worthy of attention by the researchers. In order to broaden the discussions and present feasible and feasible proposals for family agriculture in the Amazon, it is necessary to respect their specificities as a distinct social reality.

Manaus, being the capital, currently has about 2.1 million inhabitants, and Amazonas has potential for local development in the scope of family agriculture. It is worth remembering that more than half of the food that comes to the tables of the families comes from the small producers.

Family farming has been an important component for the development of the Brazilian economy. It is, therefore, an efficient means of subsistence for many Brazilian families since the genesis of our history and formation and has consolidated itself as a modus vivendi (Wanderer, 1999, p. 38), with its own specificities, logic and rationalities .

This is a topic that has been gaining the attention of researchers from many different areas, and has been the subject of discussions for the implementation of public policies aimed at assisting family farmers and consequently contributing to local economic development. It is perceived that the question of the effectiveness and feasibility of public policies aimed at family agriculture is of fundamental importance for the development of this sector, as well as an effort to pay a historical debt to this social category that contributed so much and contributes to the development of the Brazilian economy.

The present research consisted of an attempt to understand, although synthetically, the dynamics and functioning of family agriculture in the Amazon context, but specifically from an empirical cut, in which research was carried out in the scope of family agriculture in the Ramir do Brasileirinho, located in the Jorge Teixeira neighborhood, in the eastern part of the city of Manaus. The Community of the Branch has about 3000 families, with about 12 km asphalted, the other extensions are mostly not asphalted. The community has a State School and is assisted by a bus line (066). Being located in the perimeter of the city of Manaus contributes significantly to the local economy.

We sought to understand the family farmer category in its specific context, its social configuration, its socioeconomic condition, its demands, and projects, for which we turn to concepts related to this category, elaborated and developed by specialized authors who approach this theme. The main concern of the research is the access to the public policies aimed at assisting the resident family farmer of the Ramir do Brasileirinho, as these public policies contemplate the community and the degree of their effectiveness.

Regarding the methodology, the first moment consisted of a bibliographical survey about the public policies destined to attend to family agriculture. In order to do this, we are using competent authors that approach the theme of family agriculture and public policies for the rural environment (BROSE, 1999, DENARDI 2001, WANDERLEY, 1999, among others), as well as consultations with specialized articles. The concepts worked were family agriculture and public policy, trying to understand their relationship, so questionnaires were applied contemplating the socioeconomic aspects of the interviewees in order to outline their profile and degree of insertion in public policies.

The bibliographic research consists of the one that is realized:

[…] based on theoretical references already analyzed and published by written and electronic means, such as books, scientific articles, website pages. Any scientific work begins with a bibliographical research, which allows the researcher to know what has already been studied on the subject (FONSECA, 2002, p.32)

In the second moment, with an empirical cut, field research was carried out, and the research universe adopted was the Produtora do Brasileirinho Association, with a sample of 15 farmers. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were applied with the purpose of verifying whether these farmers are covered by public policies aimed at family agriculture, if they are aware of these policies and if these farmers have a participative role in the construction, re-elaboration and inspection of these public policies. In addition, how do they organize themselves as a social category, what are their main demands, the barriers encountered for access to public policies and are they assisted by the competent bodies, and what are the farmers' perceptions about public policies.

Therefore, the present work consisted of an exploratory research of qualitative character, being that:

Qualitative data consists of detailed descriptions of situations in order to understand individuals on their own terms. These data are not standardized as the quantitative data, forcing the researcher to have flexibility and creativity in the moment of collecting and analyzing them. Without precise rules and steps to be followed, the good results of the research depends on the sensitivity, intuition and experience of the researcher. (GOLDENBERG, 2004, p.53)

The aim of the present research is to contribute to the expansion and deepening of the discussions concerning the public policy theme aimed at tending family agriculture in the Amazon context, considering that the northern region appears as the region that least accesses public policies aimed at the environment compared to other regions of the country.


Family farming, as a category of analysis, is a concept that presents divergences regarding its own definitions by the specialists who deal with the theme. Figueiredo (2006) points out that family farming consists of a long process of conquest, a question that has been present since the genesis of our historical and cultural formation.

For Carneiro (1999) family farming is defined as a kind of unit of production in which there is a close relationship between labor, land and family, in convergence with other authors for this definition. For Martins (2001) it is a family reproduction institution in direct relation with land and production. For Abramovay (1997, p.3), family farming:

[…] is one in which management, property, and most of the work comes from individuals who hold blood or marriage bonds together. That this definition is not unanimous and often not operational. It is perfectly understandable, since the different social sectors and their representations construct scientific categories that will serve certain practical purposes: the definition of family agriculture, for the purposes of credit assignment, may not be exactly the same as that established with statistical quantification purposes in a academic study. What is important is that these three basic attributes (management, property and family work) are present in all of them.

Therefore, the definition of family agriculture is based on the triad of land, family and labor, in the relation established between this triad, family agriculture appears as a kind of very particular unit of production. In Wanderley (1999) the concept of family farming appears generically and encompasses multiple specificities. The author points out that family farming:

[…] still holds many of his peasant traits, both because he still has to face the old problems, never solved, and because, weakened under the conditions of Brazilian modernization, he continues to rely, in most cases, on his own strength. (1999, p.52)

Another debate incorporated over time has been about the issue of family production, a debate circumscribed around two theoretical aspects: on the one hand a strand that defends the permanence of the peasantry in the present time and on the other hand a slope that defends a certain metamorphosis of the peasant figure in a family farmer (Wanderer, 2003).

In the Brazilian context, for a long time, the latifundio predominated to the detriment of family agriculture, and the historical development of this one was for the most part tied to the economic interests of the one. In this sense, as far as the public policies for family agriculture are concerned, almost nonexistent, since the investments contemplated the large latifundia.  In the case of Brazil family farming is the result of developments in the political, economic and cultural spheres since the time of colonization, and has an alternative character to the production model based on monoculture and latifundia. As Mattei (2001, p. 1) points out:

During the process of modernization of Brazilian agriculture, the public policies for the rural area, especially the agricultural policy, favored the most capitalized sectors and the productive sphere of the commodities directed to the international market, with the objective of coping with the imbalances of the trade balance from the country. The result of these policies was highly negative for the family production sector, since much of this segment was excluded from the benefits offered by the agricultural policy, especially in the areas of rural credit, minimum prices and production insurance.

Family farming is characterized by the occupation of small tracts of land, by the use of rudimentary techniques, and by production destined primarily for family consumption (PEIXOTO, 1998). Family agriculture operates with a different logic from capitalist logic (Chayanov, 1974). While for this the ultimate purpose of production is profit, for that production aims to satisfy the needs of the production unit itself. The idea of ​​surplus gains other meanings in the context of family agriculture than capitalist rationality, that is, the family farmer produces for his own subsistence and the surplus markets to have the necessary resources to buy what I could not produce in his own establishment.

Despite all the difficulties experienced in the area of ​​family farming, it remains an important component for Brazilian economic development. Toscano (2003) points out that 60% of the food that comes from the tables of Brazilians comes from family agriculture, this shows the great potential of family farming, this potential is not restricted only to the issue of food production, but also to the question of opportunities occupation and income in rural areas and the possibility of sustainable use of natural resources.

2.1 PRONAF and the new public policy scenario

According to Souza (2006, p.26) public policies can be defined as "the field of knowledge that seeks at the same time to" put the government into action "and / or to analyze this action and[…], when necessary, propose changes in direction or course of these actions ".

With regard to public policies for family agriculture, there were substantial changes in the Brazilian scenario since 1995 with the creation of the National Program for Strengthening Family Agriculture – PRONAF. With the outbreak of PRONAF there has been a significant advance in the direction of giving greater impetus to this specific sector. This program was created by the Federal Government in order to promote income generation and the sustainability of small rural producers. In this process, the contribution of social movements (FLORES, 2002) was significant, as was the case of the National Confederation of Agricultural Workers CONTAG).  Until the 1990s there was still no specific public policy that contemplated family farming. Therefore, PRONAF was created to meet the need for credit for the development of family agriculture (BIANCHINI, 2015).

The conditions for access to PRONAF (MDA, 2015) are:

i. Exploring the parcel of land as owner, tenseiro, tenant, partner or concessionaire (settled) of the National Program of Agrarian Reform (PNRA);
ii. Live on the farm or nearby;
iii. Have, under any title, an area of ​​less than four fiscal modules;
iv. At least 50% of the family income originates from the agricultural and non-agricultural holding of the establishment;
v. Family work should be the basis of the establishment. However, it is possible to hire permanent employees as long as the number is less than the number of people in the family occupied with the family enterprise;
saw. Annual gross family income of R $ 360,000.00, including income from activities developed inside and outside the establishment by any member of the family.

PRONAF was the "first program entirely focused on family agriculture, presented as a first step towards transforming the predominant logic for rural credit in Brazilian agriculture." (MATTEI, 2006, p.104). Therefore, it is evident that PRONAF is a prime tool for the strengthening of family farmers and that, since its inception, has caused significant changes in the Brazilian rural scene.

Abramovay (2005) points out that the Brazilian Government started to invest in family agriculture because this is a potential for economic development as well as food security.  Schneider (2005) also points out that since the 1990s family farming has been legitimizing and becoming prominent as a social category that has contributed significantly to sustainable rural development.

PRONAF's credit line access contributed significantly to the generation and maintenance of jobs in the countryside as well as served as a factor inhibiting rural exodus. According to Aquino & Schneider (2010):

The study by the Campinas Economics Foundation (FECAMP, 2002) found that producers who had access to PRONAF's credit policy resources in 2001 substantially increased their technological level and the agricultural productivity of their establishments . In other words, the program's resources have been helping family farmers to adopt modern agricultural techniques, replacing rural credit traditionally used to buy chemical inputs and machines.

There are several factors that can contribute to the lack of access to public policies in rural areas: bureaucratic issues, high interest rates, difficulty for the farmer to repay the loan, land documentation, lack of interest, etc. There is also the issue of lack of information or non-disclosure, which prevents public policies from being broader and more effective, given that many family farmers are still unaware of public policies aimed at rural development.

Pereira (2000) points out, for example, that this was an obstacle to the implantation of PRONAF in a certain municipality of São Paulo that he studied. Cerqueira and Rocha (2002) also point out the lack of knowledge as an obstacle to the effective access of PRONAF. In light of this emerges the emergence of efficient mechanisms of social interaction in the sense of promoting the dissemination and the viability of these public policies with the family farmers in their respective communities.

With regard to the unequal distribution of PRONAF resources among Brazilian regions, it is symptomatic and constitutes a problem worthy of attention by researchers and scholars. In terms of the northern region and more specifically the Amazonian context, this has been reflected in negative terms for local development, considering that the northern region is the one that least accesses the public policies aimed at serving the environment rural (SCHNEIDER, MATTEI, CAZELLA, 2004). Therefore, there is a mismatch between family farming and rural public policies (CAVALLARI et al., 2015).

Associations and Cooperatives should play a leading role in seeking effective ways of establishing dialogue with the agencies responsible for rural credit policies. It is of fundamental importance that family farmers, who are the object of this development, become aware of these public policies and articulate and mobilize to gain access to them, given that this category "has historically been a blocked sector, unable to develop their potential as a specific social form of production "(Wanderer, 1999, p. 37).

Given this, it is important that family farmers, as a category, are also involved in the construction and elaboration of these public policies, since, for example, in relation to PRONAF as a public policy, it is still under construction and needs to be improved constantly (MATTEI, 2006, p.5). This is directly related to the issue of citizenship, that is, the effective participation of these social categories in the elaboration of public policies that will ensure the economic and social development of the communities in which they are inserted.

Family farmers need representatively through their Associations or Cooperatives to have access to these public policies, but, for that, they need to be well informed of what these public policies are, how they work, what conditions of access, etc. For through access to this information, they can position themselves critically and strategically in the face of the difficulties imposed, since public policies:

[…] after drawing and formulating, are broken down into plans, programs, projects, databases or information and research systems. When put into action, they are implemented, being subjected to monitoring and evaluation systems. (SOUZA, 2006, p.26)

Public policies for rural areas are extremely relevant (CARNEIRO, 1997), so family farming represents a prolific field for local development in social and economic aspects. Local development is understood as a set of measures necessary for the generation of income and more opportunities for these farmers to implement their production. Flores (2002, p.352) points out that "traditional products from family agriculture are able to occupy greater spaces in the local, national and international market, benefiting from values ​​that are aggregated with products[…]".

In this sense, it is necessary to implement and implement public policies aimed at the rural environment in the Amazon context, since it is a region with great potentialities, with great capacity for innovation, as well as the issue of sustainable development, taking into account "The forms of production used by traditional Amazonian populations are the closest reference to what would be a self-sufficient and sustained production system." (NODA et al., 2007, p.191), since the northern region and consequently the Amazon region has still been poorly assisted by public policies for family agriculture compared to other regions of the country. this framework from new proposals and strategies.


The field research had an empirical cut being carried out with farmers who are part of the Brasileirinho Produtora Association, which in total are 85 associates, in which the research was based on a sampling involving 15 family farmers. This cut was made specifically because it was a scientific initiation work, and the logistic question was also taken into account, since the extensions in which the interviews and questionnaires were applied were not asphalted and the establishments were very distant from one another. others. It was decided to restrict the research to the farmers who are part of the Association, considering that in order to have access to public policies directed to the rural environment, farmers must meet a range of requirements, among them the question of being affiliated to an Association or Cooperative.

During the field research I had the opportunity, for the first time, to experience the challenges involved in such demand, stating on the spot that doing research is a dialectical activity in which theory and practice appear intertwined. The field of research with all its specificities is a place of many discoveries and challenges, which awakens our heuristic capacity, which invites us to take a more critical and inquiring look at reality. It is a new and challenging universe in most cases, in others, a very close reality, in which the researcher appears inserted as forming a constituent part of it. In both cases, the researcher must be aware of the implications and limitations of his intellectual work, within the scope of social networks that are established in the field of research.

The text of Roberto Cardoso de Oliveira (1996) Looking, listening and writing, for example, among others, was of fundamental importance to think that the field research requires certain care and postures on the part of the researcher, without which the unfolding of the research , as well as the results obtained, may be disturbed. The text was very provocative, as it points to the importance of "training" the eyes, listening and writing, as three intrinsic and inseparable dimensions in the process of apprehension and interpretation of the phenomenon to be studied. In the field, I realize the importance of noting the information, being attentive to the interviewees' speech, trying to establish relationships and connections of a structural order, ie, as a variable not initially contemplated by the present research was revealing for the understanding of the phenomenon studied, this was the case of the land conflict issue.

I realize that it is not enough just to go to the field of research imbued with concepts and theories, this is only a dimension of the process, but also it is also necessary to have a certain degree of perception, a trained look, and this is acquired not only by accessing concepts and theories , but in the very act of doing research, when one is in the field facing the challenges that it imposes on the researcher. The issue of conflict for us, in addition to a variable not initially contemplated, allowed us to think a little more about its implications for the issue of access to public policies and for the progress and execution of the research itself.

Bourdieu (2004) alludes to the question that research is a social relation. Faced with this, it is undoubtedly essential that the researcher seeks, as far as possible, the constant exercise of epistemological vigilance, seeking to get rid of the postures that imply the imposition of problematic, in sociocentrism, ethnocentrism, etc. In this aspect we try to establish strategically a network of relations from the figure of the president of the Produtora do Brasileirinho Association, considering that she has lived in the extension of Km 12 for more than 15 years and knows the residents of Ramal well. When presenting the research proposal, Mrs. Angela wa[3]s very cooperative, she pointed out to us among the residents of the Branch those who have lived in the community for the longest time. During the course of the research we had this concern with the question of epistemological vigilance, mainly because we are situated in a world, in a way, diametrically opposed to what we are accustomed to, the rural world, with its peculiarities, with its own logic of structuring and understanding of reality.

The researcher needs to take into account the specificities of his object of study, of the social agents involved, who have their own codes, ways of seeing and interpreting the world, different from the one of the researcher. This leads to the need, for example, regarding the application of the questionnaires and interviews, to elaborate them in an intelligible way to the public that will be interviewed. One must take into account the linguistic and cultural codes of the interviewees, the researcher can not ignore the fact that knowing these codes is fundamental for understanding the phenomenon to be studied. During our research, we have been concerned to understand this universe rich in meanings a little more, aware that for this we need to dwell on the interviewees for a longer period of time, what we did as much as possible, not just listening to them and making notes , but trying to establish the relations between their statements with reality.


Field research was carried out at the Brasileirinho branch, which is part of the Jorge Teixeira neighborhood, in the eastern part of Manaus. The branch has about 12 km, all of which is paved. The locality is located between the following neighborhoods: Jorge Teixeira, Puraquequara, Industrial District II, Antônio Aleixo Colony, Ipiranga Branch and Comunidade do Giró. The community has a bus line, 066, which usually runs hourly on weekdays, on weekends, where the flow of people in the branch is much greater because there are many "baths", the line 066 passes every half hour.

In view of this, it was tried to approach, from the own perspective of the farmers of the Branch of the Brasileirinho, the perception that they have about the public policies destined to the rural environment, if they have knowledge and access to these policies and how the access or not access is reflected in terms of local community development. The criterion adopted for choosing the interviewees was the following: being a resident of the Ramir do Brasileirinho, being a farmer, and being a member of the Associação Brasileira do Produtora. It was sought to preferentially interview associates who have more time to reside in the community.

My contact with the Brasileirinho community was through my parents, who acquired a plot of land measuring 167x100M in 2015. They worked the years 2015/2016, with planting of lemon, coconut, banana, among other genera, but felt compelled to "abandon" the area because of land conflicts in the Ramal. In addition to my parents, two other uncles also have a place on the Km 12 branch, but they go to the place sporadically, preferring not to work on the land until the conflict situation is solved. In 2015, my parents introduced me to Mrs. Angela, president of the Association Produtora do Brasileirinho, which has legal existence since 1997. The networks of social relations established to carry out the research came from the significant contribution of Mrs. Angela.

According to Mrs. Angela, about 3000 families currently live in Brasileirinho, most of these residents are not directly involved in family farming, many only live in the community, some have home and work outside the community, many others have sites in the community and only appear in the community on weekends to rest or to do other activities.

Dona Ângela took over the Brazilian Association of Producers in 2013, according to her, at the beginning the Association has more than 300 members. The main motive presented by Dona Ângela for the first time that the Association Produtora do Brasileirinho had about 10% of the community of the branch of the Brasileirinho was the question of common interests of the community in relation to the issue of facing the struggle for land regularization. Currently only 85 farmers are associated. The main difficulties faced by the Association concern the issue of establishing partnerships with agencies and institutions that make local development possible, the tone of the words of Mrs. Angela and most of the interviewees denounces that there is a certain lack of attention and lack of attention towards the community by the competent bodies.

The 15 families of farmers interviewed reside in Km 12 and in the Japanese branch, branches that are part of the branch of the Brasileirinho. The extension of the Japanese, as its name suggests, was composed of Japanese who worked with floriculture, according to one of the interviewees the Japanese "abandoned" the area because of land conflicts. The Km 12 Extension, as well as the Japanese Branch are not asphalted, and the constant rainfall has greatly hampered the progress of data collection. In the last trips to the field I had more difficulties ahead, since at the entrance of the Km 12 branch there was an occupation with about 200 to 250 people. In a fieldwork, the attempt was thwarted in data collection due to conflict and confusion, including violence.

4.1 Profile of farmers in the Brasileirinho branch

Among the farmers interviewed, the following profile is drawn: 63% of respondents are over 50 years of age, 60% working as a farmer for more than 15 years, many of them reported that they always worked with agriculture, some of them even before living in the branch of the Brasileirinho. Therefore, it is an audience that already has a certain management with the land, and even knows well the vicissitudes faced by the family farmer, who know very well the main difficulties of the community in which they are inserted.

As regards the number of members of the family group, 46% (7 respondents) have 03 members, 7% (one family among the interviewees) have 04 members, 20% (three respondents) with 05 members, and 27% interviewed) have more than 05 members in their family composition.  It is noticed that the question of the number of members of the family group is well above the national average, which indicates that the average number of children per couple corresponds to 1.6 (IBGE, 2013). Therefore, the members of the family groups that act as a production and consumption unit in their respective establishments are configured, remembering that family farming is an enterprise in which the family's own labor is used and in which direct management of the family is maintained. production. In addition to the mentioned aspects, the following stand out: the majority of family farmers have low levels of education, the 2006 IBGE (Agricultural Census) shows that most of the heads of the establishments have 42.92% of Incomplete Primary Education. that only 10% can read or write, data that reflect a structural trend of education in the Brazilian countryside. The census also indicates that 97.27% of the establishments are managed by the farmer himself, that is, the farmer at the same time manages his property and directs the agricultural activities in his own establishment.

Because they are large families, the logic of the Chayanovian approach is applied in the sense of understanding that the more members in the family group the more labor necessary to produce what is necessary for their social reproduction, that is, a greater willingness to work. This was evident from one of the interviewed families whose family composition has 11 members (of the interviewees with the highest composition), and all work on the property.

The survey also pointed out that 53% of the interviewees had someone from the family group who worked outside the establishment, 50% of whom presented as main reason the question of the complementation of family income and the other 50% pointed as a reason the issue of studies and profession which are exercised outside the community.

The main economic activities of these farmers are as follows: 24% dedicate themselves to working with vegetables, 3% work with ornamental plants, 10% with poultry, 5% with swine, among other activities are banana (22%), cassava (14%), cupuaçu (8%), coconut (6%), orange (5%) and graviola (3%). Among these genera, the banana and the macaxeira are the main foods consumed by the manauaras. Regarding the production of family agriculture in the Amazon context there is a diversification, that is, there is a concern to produce several genera, this can be understood as a strategic issue in the field of food survival. It is also worth highlighting the fact that family agriculture in the Amazon region is significant in view of the specificities of the region where there is a predominance of the use of strategies and techniques passed from generation to generation, therefore it is an agriculture that contributes to the livelihoods of farm families, but at the same time also contributes significantly to the economic and sustainable development of the region.

These farmers mostly produce for their own subsistence and sell the surplus, with 53% selling what they produce in local commerce. This points to one of the specificities of family agriculture that concerns the issue that what is produced in the establishment is not only commercialization, but is primarily consumed by the farmers themselves, contributing to their subsistence. In this sense, it is still perceived that the question of self-consumption is a kind of strategy necessary for autonomy as well as an element of social cohesion in rural areas.

The production of family agriculture is diversified and aims to meet the needs of the establishment itself and the surplus is sold for the purpose of obtaining income for these farmers to acquire other genres that can not produce in their own establishments. The production of surplus in this context does not follow the capitalist logic of accumulation, of profit, the work in this scope is not seen as a way to enrich, but to supply the basic needs of the family unit and its social reproduction.

One of the main difficulties encountered is the issue of production runoff, since the difficulty of the Km 12 extension and the Japanese branch is not asphalted, and also the question of a large part of these farmers not having their own vehicle, which entails in which its production is sold in the establishment itself. One of the interviewees referred to the figure of the middleman in reporting that he did not have the means to transport his products and sell them in local commerce. This directly reflects on the question of the prices of these products that are being cheapened and consequently giving less profit to the farmer who both employed effort and work in the production of these foods. In an informal conversation with Mrs. Angela at AGROUFAM, we realized that only the community participates in this fair, other individuals, the middlemen, were on site selling what is produced in the community of Brasileirinho.

4.2 Branches of Brasileirinho and the public policies for rural areas

The branch of the Brasileirinho, although very old, and having many farming families that produce, albeit small-scale foodstuffs that supply the tables of many Manaus families, is an area in which public policies aimed at the environment still seem to be a distant reality. Of those interviewed only one family of farmers have access to some public policy aimed at serving the rural environment, more specifically the National Program for Strengthening Family Agriculture – PRONAF.

Among the main obstacles pointed out that the public policies directed to the rural area in the Brasileirinho branch are not subject to the issue of land regularization, a sine qua non condition for accessing these policies. The question of land regularization was presented by the interviewees and by the president of the Association Produtora do Brasileirinho as the main demand of the community, this is a long-standing struggle, and now that the issue of land conflicts has intensified, to be discussed again.

Most of the interviewees pointed out that the main agenda of the meetings of the Association Produtora do Brasileirinho, which are held monthly, orbit around the issue of land conflicts. The community is apprehensive and fearful, one of the interviewees, who during the data collection showed us their property, plantations, birds and pigs, reported to have more than 100 pigs, but when showing us the places where the pigs are, there are only about 30 pigs there. The interviewee then reported that he had to send the other pigs, more than half, to another distant site, due to the issue of land conflicts.

In the speech of this interviewee and others it was evidenced that in their perception the issue of land conflicts directly affected the production of these farmers, discouraging them and generating insecurity. They are farmers who have lived in Ramal for more than 15 years, and who have been struggling for a long time for their stay on the land and the possibility of continuing to work for their social reproduction.  Apparently with the aggravation of land conflicts some farmers are already seeking to mobilize in order to associate themselves, in order to defend their common interests: permanence and ownership of land.

Most interviewees feel they are unassisted by the competent bodies. According to them, they receive visits to the Association of institutions such as EMBRAPA, IDAM, UFAM, Pastoral da Terra, etc., but these visits have become very small and sporadic.

The technical assistance that the community receives from the Amazonian Agricultural and Forestry Development Institute (IDAM) has been very sporadic, according to Mrs. Angela, and many others interviewed for more than 8 months that IDAM does not appear in the community. In the perception of the interviewees this situation has gained these contours mainly with the aggravation of the issues of land conflicts, according to them this situation has caused, in a way, this lack of assistance. Still, according to the interviewees, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company – EMBRAPA was to assist the community in relation to guaraná planting, but did not return due also, according to the interviewees' perspective, the conflicting situation of the lands. In view of this, farmers feel unassisted and with little prospect of further local development.

When asked about the main demands of the community, Mrs. Angela mentioned the following: the question of land documentation, which consists not only of a formal land tenure issue, but is a necessary condition for access to public policies designed to contemplate the family farmers. This is a question that concerns the rescue and appreciation of family farmers as a social category that contributes significantly to local economic development. Therefore, the issue of land regularization represents the possibility of permanence of these farmers in their establishments and at the same time provides access to public policies.

Although the community has long been in existence, land regularization is still one of the main bottlenecks to local development. Other issues pointed out: improvement of the extensions, extensions of Km 12 and Extension of Japanese because they are not asphalted hinders the production flow; more schools to meet the demand, since in the community there is only one State School, but it does not take care of attending the whole community, which means that most students have to enroll in schools located in neighborhoods close to the community, without to tell the problem of the difficulty that students encounter to get to school.

During interviews I realized from the interviewees' speech that there is not necessarily a lack of information about the public policies aimed at rural areas, they are socialized in the community through the Produtora do Brasileirinho Association. But this issue is worrying insofar as it is taken into account that of this universe of 15 associated farmers, only 33% know or have heard about some public policy directed to the rural environment, more specifically the National Program for Strengthening Family Agriculture – PRONAF, and that only 7% actually access some public policy. The remaining 67% during the interview sketched out no public policy to care for family farmers, or reticently pointed out that they heard something about it but could not specify it.

This leads us to think that there may be faults in communication and in the socialization of this information, or else that the institutions and even the Association have not effectively fulfilled their role of socializing information relevant to the issue of public policies towards the environment rural in an efficient way. A variable that must be taken into account is also the issue of the low schooling of these farmers, taking into account the speech of some who have heard of these public policies and yet did not remember any of them and do not even know how to do it. its functioning.

The communication and socialization of the information pertinent to the public policies directed to the rural environment can not occur in an arbitrary way. Not only the rural policies themselves, but also their socialization in family farmer communities should be contextualized, since each region of the country, and even in one region, distinguish them from the others.

Some of these farmers interviewed, who even knowing that there are public policies designed to meet them, however, can not access these public policies due to several factors: land regularization, lack of personal documentation, some lack of interest , some point out the question of interest and the uncertainties involved in such an undertaking, etc.

The Produtora do Brasileirinho Association, as a legal entity representative of the interests of the family farmers of the Brasileirinho Branch, has an important role to play in the socialization of information about public policies aimed at rural areas, establishing partnerships with government agencies, city hall, etc. Dona Ângela has shown an effort in this direction, but as pointed out earlier, establishing partnerships for local development has still been a major challenge for the community. In addition, Mrs. Angela and one of the interviewees are participating in a university extension course on Public Policies at the Don Bosco Salesian College.

This is a significant and strong indication that the Association is moving in the direction of being increasingly inserted in the discussions about public policies focused on rural areas. On the other hand, there are other difficulties to be overcome, in addition to the issue of the limitations arising from establishing partnerships with institutions that make local development viable, there is also another cultural question that concerns the farmers themselves in their universe, create the necessary conditions for a greater participation of these farmers in matters that concern their own interests, since they do not live atomized, but are inserted in the larger set of the society.

4.3 The land conflict

Brasileirinho is an area where there is land conflict, and although this variable is not specifically the initial concern of the research, whenever I was in the field collecting the data and conducting the interviews, this question, somehow, came to the dance, as the day's agenda of those families that feel apprehensive and under constant threats of being hampered in their rights.

Land conflicts, according to my perception, also significantly affected the progress of the work, in the sense that I initially felt, on the part of some interviewees, a lack of receptivity and willingness to collaborate with the research, a situation that I tried to get around in some way, a little more in the establishments of these interviewees, trying to establish bridges of dialogue, in an attempt to show them the relevance of the research. Having overcome these difficulties, the social network gradually established itself, but always with some degree of resistance. The situation in the Extension of the Km 12 and the Branch of the Japanese is of constant apprehension and distrust. In the field he was always surrounded with a dose of fear of being confused with "some" of those who are against the interests of the community.

Some of the interviewees alluded to the fact that, shortly before I went to the field, someone appeared in the community, allegedly being a bailiff, which soon proved by the community itself to be untrue. I was in the community applying the questionnaires and conducting the interviews for 05 times, and in some of these situations I could not continue the work due to situations in the Extension of Km 12 involving the issue of land conflicts.

This conflictive scenario has led us to rethink, in some ways, the way of doing research, in view of the fact that this is my first experience with field research. I have tried to establish bridges of dialogue, based on the assumption that according to Pierre Bourdieu (2004), research also consists of social relation, and if field research is social relation, the progress of research, to a greater or lesser extent, depends on how these relationships are established throughout the research process.

In some cases I had to identify myself using my student card from the Federal University of Amazonas. Only after much dialogue, to present the proposal of the research and to show how significant can it be, not only for the academic universe but also for the community itself, I have succeeded, and the confidence necessary to establish the researcher / research was being built, and the research was proving fruitful.


There is a great variety of studies about public policies aimed at attending to family agriculture in the Brazilian context, but these policies, besides failing to serve the northern region more efficiently, still appear very distant from the concrete reality of each community context . Therefore they are public policies designed without taking into account the specificities of the communities present in the most varied segments of the country. In the case of Amazonas specifically, although extensive discussions, studies and analyzes already carried out, however relevant, still do not account for the complexity involved in the rural environment in the region. This does not diminish in any way the significant contribution of the studies already carried out, but only points out that there is still much to be explored in this vast universe of meanings that is the rural environment.

The research in the branch of the Brasileirinho reflects this complex whole that is the familiar agriculture in the Amazonian context, where a reality is evidenced through dimensions rich in significations and potentialities for the local development done in a conscious and sustainable way, but at the same time also permeated by structural problems, the community still faces many difficulties of access to the most basic services such as health and education, for example. Access to public policies aimed at family agriculture in such context represents the possibility of change, local development, implementation of the production of these farmers, in the continuity of their social reproduction. Farmers need to be aware of these public policies, access them effectively, directly contribute to their construction, so they must act as protagonists in this process and not just as mere spectators. The responsible bodies, in turn, must offer support and the conditions necessary for this information to reach the knowledge of these farmers in an efficient and contextualized way.

The research from the family farmers of the Brasileirinho branch revealed that there is still a lot to be done in order to improve and implement public policies for rural areas. There are already significant advances, but there are still problems, especially regarding the issue of more efficient mechanisms for the dissemination and socialization of information on public policies. The problem related to the issue of land conflicts was recurrent in the interviewees' speech throughout the research process. They seek to establish partnerships with institutions and the competent bodies in order to seek improvements for the community, but they face the sad reality of the lack of assistance.

There are still many farmers in the region who are unaware of the public policies for family agriculture. This lack of information directly reflects the reality of these farmers, who could experience greater local economic development through access to them. We find that access to public policies for family agriculture is an issue that concerns the citizenship of these farmers, the full exercise of their rights and duties, and therefore the possibility of continuing to reproduce socially, contributing to the economic development of the country.


ABRAMOVAY, Ricardo. Paradigms of the agrarian capitalism in question. Sao Paulo. Anpocs, Unicamp, Hucitec, 1992. A new extension for family farming. In: National Seminar on Technical Assistance and Rural Extension. Brasília, DF, Anais, 1997.

AQUINO, J. R. & SCHNEIDER, S. 12 years of PRONAF's credit policy in Brazil (1996-2008): a critical reflection. VIII Latin American Congress of Rural Sociology. Porto de Galinhas, PE: 2010.

BIANCHINI, Valter. Twenty years of PRONAF – 1995-2015: Advances and challenges. Ministry of Agrarian Development. Brasília: 2015.

BOURDIEU, Pierre. Symbolic power. Rio de Janeiro: Difel, 1859.

BROSE, Markus. Family agriculture: local development and public policies. Rio Grande do Sul: Edunisc, 1999.

CARDOSO DE OLIVEIRA, Roberto. The work of the anthropologist: look, listen, write. Journal of Anthropology (USP), vol. 39, nº 1, São Paulo, 1996.

CARNEIRO, M. J. Family farmers and pluriactivities: typologies and policies. In: COSTA, L. F. C .; , MOREIRA, R. J .; BRUNO, R. (Org.). Rural world and present time. Rio de Janeiro: Mauad / Pronex, 1999.

CAVALLARI, Alessandro A; FERREIRA, Esvanio E. S; SOARES, Keller R; NEVES, Sandra M. A; SEABRA JUNIOR, Santino. The Food Acquisition Program in the Brazilian Legal Amazon. In: Journal of Social Studies. N.37, V.17, Cuiabá-MT, 2015. Available in <file: /// D: /Documentos/Downloads/2600-8063-1-SM.pdf> Accessed on: mar de 2016.

CHAYANOV, Alexander V. The organization of the peasant economic unit. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Nueva Visión, 1974.

CERQUEIRA, P. S; ROCHA, A. G. Family farming and PRONAF: elements for discussion. Analysis and Data, Salvador. v. 12, n. 3, p. 105-117, 2002.

DENARDI, R. A. Family farming and public policies: some dilemmas and challenges for sustainable rural development. Agroecology and sustainable rural development, Porto Alegre, v. 2, n. 3, p. 56-62, Jul / Sep. 2001.

FONSECA, J. J. S. Methodology of scientific research. Fortaleza: UEC, 2002.

FLORES, Murilo. Technical assistance and family farming. In: LIMA, Dalmo Marcelo de Albuquerque; WILKINSON, John. (org.). Innovation in the traditions of family agriculture. Brasília: CNPq./Paralelo. 2002. p.347-360.

GOLDENBERG, Mirian. The art of research: how to do qualitative research in the social sciences. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 2004.

MARTINS, José de Souza. Social and political parallels regarding agrarian reform and family farming in Brazil. Paper presented at the Internal Seminar on "Dilemma and Prospects for Rural Development in Brazil, with an emphasis on Agriculture and Rural in the First Decade of the 21st Century", FAO, Santiago, Chile, December 11-13, 2001.

MATTEI, L. Public policies to promote family production in Brazil: the recent PRONAF case. Florianópolis: UFSC, 2001. Available at: <>. Accessed on: January, 2017

______ Family farming and peasantry: ruptures and continuity. Studies Society and Agriculture, Rio de Janeiro, 21, October, 2003: 42-61.

______ PRONAF 10 years: map of academic production. Brasília, MDA / NEAD, 2006.

MUSSOI, Eros Morion. Family agriculture, rural extension and the new national policy of technical assistance and rural extension. In: LIMA, Jorge Roberto Tavares de; FIGUEIREDO, Marcos Antônio Bezerra (org.). Rural extension, challenges of new times: agroecology and sustainability. Re: Bagaço, 2006. P. 99-106.

NODA, N. et al. Professional qualification of rural and urban workers for the sustainable development of Pauini, in: NODA, Sandra do Nascimento (org.) Family Agriculture in the Amazon of Waters. Manaus: Publisher of the Federal University of Amazonas, 2007, p. 191-206.

PEIXOTO, Sérgio Elísio: History of family agriculture in Brazil, Revista Agrícola, v.2. 1998.

PEREIRA, L. G.T. C. Evaluation of PRONAF through the behavior of social actors: a case study in Espirito Santo Pinhal – SP. 2000. Dissertation (Master in Agricultural Engineering), State University of Campinas, Campinas, 2000.

Schneider, Sérgio. Pluriactivity and Brazilian rural development. Cadernos de la CEAM, Family Agriculture and Territorial Development – Contributions to the Debate. Brasilia, year V, n. 17, p.23-42, Feb. 2005.

SCHNEIDER, Sergio; MATTEI, Lauro; CAZELLA, Ademir Antônio. History, characterization and recent dynamics of PRONAF – National Program for Strengthening Family Agriculture. IN: SCHNEIDER, Sergio; SILVA, Marcelo Kunrath; MARQUES, Paulo Eduardo Moruzzi (Org.). Public Policies and Social Participation in Rural Brazil. Porto Alegre, 2004, p. 21-50.

SOUZA, C. Public policies: a review of the literature. Sociologias, Porto Alegre, year 8, nº 16, jul / dec 2006, p. 20-45. Available at: <>. Accessed on: January, 2017.

THIOLLENT, Michel. Methodological criticism, social research and worker poll. São Paulo: Polis, 1987.

WANDERLEY, Mary of Nazareth Baudel. Historical Roots of the Brazilian Peasantry. In: TEDESCO, João Carlos (org.). Family Farming Realities and Perspectives. 2a. ed. Passo Fundo: EDIUPF, 1999. Cap. 1, p. 21-55

[1] The present text is a result of the Program of Scientific Initiation – PIBIC conducted under the guidance of Professor Mariana Vieira Galuch, during the period of August 2016 / July 2017, with subsidies from the Federal University of Amazonas.

[2]  Master's degree in Sciences of Religions by the United University of Vitória. Graduating in Social Sciences from the Federal University of Amazonas. Pedagogical Complementation in Sociology by the Polis Arts Faculty. Improvement in Religious School Education and Comparative Theology by the Open School of Brazil. Bachelor of Theology from the Faculty of Theology of Boa Vista.

[3] Fictitious name that we adopted to refer to the president of the Brasileirinho Producing Association.

Download PDF
Como publicar Artigo Científico


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here