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Institutionalization of family farming in Mercosur: from normative definition to the national systems of registration



Institutionalization of family farming in Mercosur: from normative definition to the national systems of registration



Novos Cadernos Naea 20(1): 67-94



This paper analyzes the process of institutionalization of family farming in the Mercosur. The main attention is on the action of the Specialized Meeting on Family Agriculture (REAF), a multilateral forum that has become a privileged arena of dialogue between government and social movements for the construction of rural development policies at the regional level. From document analysis, observation of the dialogues and interviews with policy makers and social leaders, the paper demonstrates how REAF has coordinated a process of harmonization of the regulatory frameworks that are used to define, identify and typify the family farm. At the same time, it analyses the controversies involved in the construction of a common definition for family farming and the challenges related to the implementation of the National Registration Systems. The results point also to the key role played by Brazil in the leadership of this process but also for institutional readjustments operated by the other countries, which support a discussion about the pertinence of normative changes in the Brazilian context.

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