Oxfam International Blogs - soy http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/soy en El auge de la soja del Paraguay: ¿una bendición o una maldición? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10415 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>El reciente asesinato del líder de pequeños agricultores paraguayos <strong><a href="http://www.decidamos.org.py/index.php?option=com_k2&amp;view=item&amp;id=1208:la-ocrc-denuncia-asesinato-de-l%C3%ADder-campesino&amp;Itemid=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Lorenzo Areco</a></strong> es un claro recordatorio de que el acceso a la tierra es literalmente una cuestión de vida o muerte en Paraguay. Areco fue asesinado a tiros en la calle, a pocos pasos de la oficina de la Organización Campesina Regional de Concepción (<a href="http://www.ocrcpy.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>OCRC</strong></a>), donde lideraba el trabajo sobre el acceso a la tierra y la reforma agraria. Con su muerte, 131 pequeños agricultores han sido asesinados en Paraguay desde el fin de la dictadura de Stroessner en 1989, la gran mayoría debido a conflictos en la defensa del derecho a la tierra.</p> <h3>El derecho a la tierra y la soja</h3> <p>En Paraguay, el país de América Latina con la más desigual distribución de tierra, el acceso a la tierra está íntimamente ligada a la soja.</p> <p>País pequeño, sin salida al mar, con menos de siete millones de personas, Paraguay está en las garras del auge de la soja, y se ha convertido en el 4° mayor exportador mundial. Sin embargo, sigue siendo uno de los países más pobres de América del Sur.</p> <p>El monocultivo de soja actualmente cubre el 80% de las tierras cultivables del país - casi el doble que hace una década – y con proyecciones de una mayor expansión. Este impulso se debe a la <strong><a href="http://www.livemint.com/Politics/19QZUzZVmwFipFYzSdStzJ/Rising-food-demand-to-put-pressure-on-global-prices-FAOOEC.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">demanda internacional insaciable</a> </strong>de biocombustibles y carne basados en soja, alentado por las políticas gubernamentales. Los parlamentarios europeos que votarán las reformas a la <strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/crece/pressroom/reactions/el-parlamento-europeo-no-consigue-frenar-la-pol%C3%ADtica-europea-sobre-biocombustibl" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">política de biocombustibles de la UE</a> </strong>en las próximas semanas deberían tomar nota.</p> <h3>Problemas para los productores de soja</h3> <p>¿Qué significa esta transformación en el uso de suelo de Paraguay para los pequeños y pequeñas agricultoras y las comunidades rurales? ¿Pueden también obtener algún beneficio de la expansión de la soja?</p> <p>Para averiguarlo, Oxfam encargó una investigación en Paraguay sobre la tierra y la soja y se centró en una empresa - Desarrollo Agrícola del Paraguay (<a href="http://www.dap.com.py/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>DAP</strong></a>) – por tener información de estar haciendo esfuerzos para beneficiar a los pequeños agricultores y agricultoras. La investigación, <strong><a href="http://www.quepasaenparaguay.info/impacto-de-la-soja-en-la-pobreza/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">El Espejismo de la Soja</a></strong> , encontró que DAP había adoptado un enfoque diferente a la mayoría de los productores de soja, incluidas iniciativas para evitar el daño a las comunidades y apoyar a la agricultura familiar. <strong>Pero los buenos esfuerzos de DAP no pudieron compensar los problemas causados por el modelo de negocio de la soja</strong>, que tiende a:</p> <ul><li>profundizar la concentración de la riqueza y de la tierra,</li> <li>contaminar el entorno,</li> <li>dañar la salud de la población local,</li> <li>competir por recursos limitados, y</li> <li>poner en riesgo los medios de vida tradicionales de las comunidades indígenas, así como de las comunidades campesinas, que viven de la agricultura familiar.</li> </ul><h3><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/rr-soy-mirage-corporate-social-responsibility-paraguay-290813-es_0.pdf" rel="nofollow"></a>Orgánico vs Genéticamente Modificado (GM)</h3> <p>La producción de soja es altamente dependiente de costosos insumos externos, como plaguicidas, y de capital para la mecanización por lo que no es una opción viable para los pequeños agricultores en Paraguay. Ellos no tienen acceso al crédito o a la superficie mínima de tierra necesaria para alcanzar la escala necesaria para la producción mecanizada. DAP invirtió dando a los pequeños agricultores una ventaja para empezar, pero éstos asumieron todo el riesgo careciendo de capital, por lo que luego de una mala cosecha se vieron sumidos en deudas. </p> <p>Ahora, incluso DAP ha llegado a la conclusión de que la producción orgánica sería la mejor alternativa para las familias de agricultores, ya que no depende de insumos externos. Sin embargo, no hay evidencia de que, en el corto plazo, el modelo de producción dominante de Paraguay se vuelva orgánica. De hecho, el 95% de la soja cultivada en Paraguay es transgénica Roundup Ready, por lo que resulta difícil producir en forma orgánica.</p> <p>La investigación de Oxfam reveló informes de graves problemas de salud provocados por el uso intensivo de agroquímicos requeridos por la soja Roundup Ready, que se estima en 30 millones de litros por ciclo de cultivo de soja, incluyendo algunos que están prohibidos en Europa. Los problemas de salud incluyen desde enfermedades respiratorias, alergias y cáncer, a la muerte de ganado menor y el agravamiento de las infestaciones de plagas. El gobierno paraguayo ha debilitado la legislación que regula el uso de agroquímicos debido a la presión de la industria de la soja. Los funcionarios públicos han lamentado su incapacidad para hacer frente a los problemas de salud y ambientales resultantes.</p> <h3>Desafíos de la pequeña agricultura</h3> <p>El asesinato de Lorenzo Areco fue un acto descarado; al medio día y a la vista de todos, le dispararon seis veces mientras conducía su motocicleta, desde el interior de una camioneta. Fue el tercero de ese tipo de asesinatos en menos de un año en dicha región de Paraguay, donde la organización de pequeños agricultores y la protesta contra la expansión del monocultivo de soja han sido más fuertes. Areco estaba promocionando los derechos comunales sobre la tierra para ayudar a los pequeños agricultores a permanecer en ellas y mejorar sus medios de vida.</p> <p>Quienes se dedican a la agricultura familiar campesina en Paraguay, enfrentan enormes desafíos e injusticias relacionadas a nuestro sistema alimentario global roto. Dos modelos de producción coexisten incómodamente en la agricultura paraguaya: la producción familiar a pequeña escala, que principalmente produce alimentos, y el monocultivo a gran escala, dirigida a la exportación para satisfacer la demanda internacional de carne y biocombustibles. La política pública prioriza el segundo, ayudando y estimulando a los inversores a comprar grandes extensiones de tierra para expandir los monocultivos de soja, desplazando ranchos de ganado y a familias agricultoras.</p> <p>La cruda realidad es que la expansión de la soja ha sido una maldición más que una bendición para los pequeños agricultores. Las empresas que buscan trabajar con ellos son bienvenidos, pero intentar reproducir la agricultura industrial a pequeña escala no es la solución.</p> <p><strong><em><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/rr-soy-mirage-corporate-social-responsibility-paraguay-290813-es_0.pdf" rel="nofollow">Lee el informe</a></em></strong></p> <p><strong><em></em></strong></p> <h3>También te puede interesar:</h3> <p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/opinion/paraguays-destructive-soy-boom.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Paraguay’s Destructive Soy Boom</strong></a> <em>(nytimes.com)</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/crece/issues/la-agricultura-pequena-escala" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/crece/issues/la-agricultura-pequena-escala" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">La agricultura a pequeña escala</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/es/crece/campaigns/biocombustibles-preguntas-y-respuestas" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Biocombustibles: preguntas y respuestas</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>El auge de la soja del Paraguay: ¿una bendición o una maldición?</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-08-29-paraguay-soy-boom-blessing-curse" title="Paraguay&#039;s soy boom: a blessing or a curse?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> </ul> Wed, 04 Sep 2013 13:45:57 +0000 Lara Sanchez 10415 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/node/10415#comments Paraguay's soy boom: a blessing or a curse? http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-08-29-paraguay-soy-boom-blessing-curse <div class="field field-name-body"><p>The recent assassination of Paraguayan small-farmer leader <a href="http://www.decidamos.org.py/index.php?option=com_k2&amp;view=item&amp;id=1208:la-ocrc-denuncia-asesinato-de-l%C3%ADder-campesino&amp;Itemid=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Lorenzo Areco</strong></a> is a stark reminder that access to land is literally a matter of life and death in Paraguay. Areco was gunned down on the street just steps from the office of the Regional Small Farmer Organization of Concepcion (<a href="http://www.ocrcpy.org/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>OCRC</strong></a>), where he led work on access to land and agrarian reform. With his death, 131 small-farmers have been murdered in Paraguay since the end of the Stroessner dictatorship in 1989, the vast majority over conflicts to defend land rights.</p> <h3>Land rights and soy</h3> <p>In Paraguay, the Latin American country where land is the most unequally distributed, access to land is inextricably linked to soy.</p> <p>A small, land-locked country with less than seven million people, Paraguay is in the grip of a soy boom, which has seen it become the world’s fourth largest exporter. Yet it remains one of the poorest countries in South America.</p> <p>Soybean monoculture now covers 80 percent of the country’s cropland – nearly double that of a decade ago, with projections for further expansion. The driver is the <a href="http://www.livemint.com/Politics/19QZUzZVmwFipFYzSdStzJ/Rising-food-demand-to-put-pressure-on-global-prices-FAOOEC.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>insatiable international demand</strong></a><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/opinion/paraguays-destructive-soy-boom.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong></strong></a> for soy-fed meat and biofuels, encouraged by government policies. European parliamentarians who will be voting on reforms to the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/pressroom/reactions/oxfam-reaction-mep-vote-not-enough-stop-eu-biofuel-policy-fuelling-hunger" rel="nofollow"><strong>EU’s biofuels policy</strong> </a>over the next weeks should take note.</p> <h3>Problems for soy producers</h3> <p>What does this transformation in Paraguay's land use mean for small-scale farmers and rural communities? Can they too reap some benefit from soy expansion?</p> <p>To find out, Oxfam commissioned research in Paraguay on land and soy and focused on one company - Desarrollo Agrícola del Paraguay (<a href="http://www.dap.com.py/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>DAP</strong></a>) - that was reported to be making efforts to benefit small-scale farmers. The research, <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/policy/soy-mirage-paraguay" rel="nofollow"><strong>The Soy Mirage</strong></a>, found that DAP had taken a different approach than most soy producers, including initiatives to avoid harm to communities and help small-scale farmers. But DAP’s <strong>good efforts could not compensate for the problems caused by the soy business</strong> model which tends to:</p> <ul><li>deepen the concentration of wealth and land,</li> <li>contaminate the surroundings,</li> <li>harm the health of the local population,</li> <li>compete for limited resources, and</li> <li>put at risk the traditional livelihoods of small-scale farmers and indigenous communities.</li> </ul><h3><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/rr-soy-mirage-corporate-social-responsibility-paraguay-290813-en.pdf" rel="nofollow"></a>Organic vs. GM</h3> <p>Soy production is highly dependent on expensive external inputs like pesticides and capital for mechanization, and thus is not a viable option for small-scale farmers in Paraguay. They don't have access to credit or the minimum land area to achieve the scale needed for mechanized production. DAP invested to give small-scale farmers a leg up to get started, but farmers assumed all the risk and lacked capital so they found themselves mired in debt after one bad harvest.</p> <p>Now even DAP itself has concluded that organic production would be the best alternative for family farmers, because it doesn’t rely on external inputs. Yet there is no evidence that Paraguay’s dominant production model will turn organic any time soon. In fact, 95 percent of soy cultivated in Paraguay is genetically modified Roundup Ready, making it challenging to produce organically.</p> <p>Oxfam’s research revealed reports of serious health problems resulting from the intensive use of agrochemicals required by Roundup Ready soy, estimated at 30 million liters per soy crop cycle, including some banned in Europe. These range from respiratory conditions, allergies, and cancer, to the death of small livestock and worsening pest infestations. The Paraguayan government has weakened legislation regulating agrochemical use due to pressure from the soy industry. Civil servants have lamented their inability to address the health and environmental problems that result.</p> <h3>Challenges of small farming</h3> <p>Lorenzo Areco’s murder was a brazen act – at mid-day in plain sight he was shot six times while on his motorcycle, from the inside of a pick-up truck. It was the third such murder in less than a year in the region of Paraguay where small farmer organizing and protest against the expansion of soy monoculture has been the strongest. Areco was promoting communal land rights to help small farmers stay on the land and improve their livelihoods.</p> <p>Small-scale farmers in Paraguay face huge challenges and injustices linked to our broken global food system. Two models of production coexist uncomfortably in Paraguayan agriculture: the small-scale family farm that mostly produces food, and large-scale monoculture for export to meet international demand for meat and biofuels. Public policy is biased toward the latter, helping to spur investors to buy up large tracts of land to expand soy monoculture, displacing cattle ranches and small-scale farmers.</p> <p>The cold truth is that soy expansion has been a curse rather than a blessing for small farmers. Companies that seek to work with them are welcome, but trying to reproduce industrial agriculture on a smaller scale is not the solution.</p> <p><em>Read the report:</em></p> <p> </p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/opinion/paraguays-destructive-soy-boom.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Paraguay’s Destructive Soy Boom</strong></a> <em>(nytimes.com)</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/issues/small-scale-farming" rel="nofollow"><strong>Why we need to support small-scale farmers</strong></a></p> <p><strong>FAQs: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/campaigns/what-are-biofuels-whats-problem-them" rel="nofollow">What are biofuels? What's the problem with them?</a></strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/grow/campaigns/what-are-biofuels-whats-problem-them" rel="nofollow"></a></p> <p>For more debate on different methods of farming, see the <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/future-of-agriculture"><strong>Future of Agricutlure</strong></a> blog series</p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Paraguay&#039;s soy boom: a blessing or a curse?</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/13-09-04-auge-soja-paraguay-bendicion-o-maldicion" title="El auge de la soja del Paraguay: ¿una bendición o una maldición?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 10:45:38 +0000 Stephanie Burgos 10485 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/13-08-29-paraguay-soy-boom-blessing-curse#comments Paraguay’s destructive soy boom http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-07-02-paraguays-destructive-soy-boom <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Fernando Lugo is the latest victim of Paraguay’s “soy war.” Elected president in 2008 as a “champion of the poor,” Lugo was impeached late last month, plunging this poorest of South American countries into uncertainty.</strong></p> <p>Lugo’s election on a promise to redistribute land and carry out agrarian reform was popular but ultimately unachievable because of the interests ranged against him. Earlier in June, 11 campesinos and 6 police officers were killed during an operation to evict squatters from a huge farm used by a large-scale land owner and opponent of Lugo. Using this as a pretense, the Senate impeached Lugo a week later.</p> <p>But it’s the rise of the humble soy plant — and the oceans of land upon which it grows in Paraguay — that links Lugo’s ouster in a historical struggle between the country’s powerful landed elite and its poverty-stricken farmers, on the one hand, and a world that has no apparent limit to its appetite for soy-fed animal meat and biofuels, on the other.</p> <p>Paraguay is not the first country to lose a government over land disputes. It will not be the last. After decades of cronyism and corruption, 77 percent of Paraguay’s arable land is owned by just 2 percent of the population. Globally in the past 10 years, deals have been struck for 203 million hectares of land — nearly six times the size of Germany — at a pace and scale that is outstripping the ability of governance structures to respond. The cracks, as in Paraguay, are never far from the surface.</p> <h3>Demand for soy is surging</h3> <p>Paraguay is now the world’s fourth-largest exporter of soy and demand is surging, driven primarily by China and Europe for cattle feed and biofuels. Paraguay’s agricultural landscape has altered dramatically on the back of this boom. Since 1996, more than 1.2 million hectares of forest have been cut down to grow soy rather than food and other crops. Brazilian settlers — the brasiguayos — have set up large-scale soy farms, provoking a prolonged conflict over what locals say is “earth robbery.” Over the last 20 years 100,000 small-scale local farmers have migrated to city slums or to other countries or have become landless. Each year in Paraguay 9,000 rural families are evicted by soy production and nearly half a million hectares of land are turned into soy fields.</p> <p>Ironically, in a country where 40 percent of the population still lives in poverty and 11 percent are undernourished, Paraguay’s macroeconomy is booming. Its G.D.P. grew by 15 percent in 2010 — the second-fastest-growing economy in the world — on the back of soy exports worth $1.6 billion.</p> <p>The Paraguay soy boom — made in China and Europe and grown upon the lands of the political elite — is controlled by the boardrooms of Big Business. As much as 70 percent of Paraguay’s soy is exported each year and of that the multinational grain giants Cargill, ADM and Bunge account for about 70 percent.</p> <p>In 2004, the agribusiness Syngenta caused indignation by publishing an advertisement of a map that shaded a large area of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay and called it the “United Soy Republic.”</p> <p>But Paraguay has been unable to add significant value to its soy exports: In 2010, 5.7 million tons of its total harvest were exported as raw bean while only 1.5 million tons were processed. Other actors seem to be gaining more from this part of the United Soy Republic than ordinary Paraguayans are.</p> <h3>Poor people suffer most</h3> <p>There is ample cause for concern about law and order and the democratic process in Paraguay. In the event of any conflict, it is always the poor who suffer most. The international community needs to give more support to the people of Paraguay in order to build a more fair and inclusive country. They must give greater focus to rural development and sustainable food production, and to more equitable land rights, so that the poorest farmers are better protected from the global demand for land.</p> <p>The IMF believes that Paraguay’s economy will grow next year to the tune of 8.5 percent — a fantastic prospect but only if the benefits of this can be fairly shared. More widely than that, corporate and political leaders who have helped to spur Paraguay’s soy boom need to look hard at its sustainability and how fairly it is returning benefits to ordinary Paraguayans.</p> <p>More than half of the soy grown in Paraguay is exported to Argentina, and much of this is turned into diesel either in Argentina or in Europe to fuel Europe’s cars. In a world where a billion people go to bed hungry every night, policies that convert arable land from growing food to fuel are surely wrong-headed, and are only likely to increase competition and conflict over a scarce natural resource.</p> <p><em>Originally published by the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/03/opinion/paraguays-destructive-soy-boom.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>NYTimes, 2 July 2012</strong></a>.</em></p> <h3>Related links</h3> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/development/paraguay" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam's work in Paraguay</strong></a></p> <p><strong>On the GROW Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blog/12-02-13-can-we-live-inside-doughnut-why-world-needs-planetary-and-social-boundaries">Can we live inside the doughnut? Why the world needs planetary and social boundaries for sustainable development</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Paraguay’s destructive soy boom</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/12-07-04-la-guerra-de-la-soja-se-aviva-en-paraguay" title="La guerra de la soja se aviva en Paraguay" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Mon, 02 Jul 2012 16:11:37 +0000 Jeremy Hobbs 9898 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/12-07-02-paraguays-destructive-soy-boom#comments