Push for big agro in Orinoco touches nerve


Public furor over legislation that would further open the way to large-scale farming in Colombia’s Orinoco basin has pitted the nation’s agribusiness sector against environmentalists and other opponents. The measure would boost the maximum size of undeveloped, government-owned land tracts, or baldíos, that can be distributed in the Orinoco from some 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) to 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres) per recipient, and would allow commercial farms, not just poor farmers, to acquire such property. In doing so, the legislation will shift the focus of a 1994 agrarian reform law intended to help farmers with the least resources. It will facilitate government efforts to convert the ecologically sensitive region into an agricultural breadbasket of large sugarcane, oil palm, soy and other plantations dedicated... [Log in to read more]

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