Appointed as the country that plants and consumes the most beans in the world, Brazilian production of the grain basically meets domestic demand. The total planted area of beans in the country is around 3 million hectares. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, the edible beans planted area is 1.4 thousand hectares, and production reaches 1.5 thousand tons.
According to crop estimates from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Brazil produces around 3 million tons of beans per year, divided into three crops. However, for 2021, the institute’s forecast is for a reduction of 7.4% compared to last year, reaching 2.67 million tons, enough to meet the limit of domestic consumption.
Also read: Where do you want a rifle, I am a bean
The cultivation of black beans in Sítio São José, located in the city of Magé, in the Baixada Fluminense, began with the encouragement of the Movement of Small Farmers (MPA), to diversify production there. The experience in 1 hectare planted worked out, with the harvest done in August, and the peasant family is already preparing the next one, which should take place in September or October.
The native seeds were donated by the MPA and are characterized by the non-use of pesticides and the manual selection with a lot of love and attention, a knowledge passed on locally through generations. They are seeds produced by family farmers, agrarian reform settlers, quilombolas and indigenous peoples, therefore, they bring in each grain the wisdom of the land and are far from the control of seed multinationals.
:: Special | Hunger in Brazil: the struggle of Brazilian families to guarantee food on the table ::
The purpose of cultivation in Sítio São José, in addition to producing beans for sale, is also to produce creole seeds, part of Via Campesina’s international work to give autonomy to peasants and independence from governments or multinational companies, sectors that seek to support only the agribusiness producer of commodities.
The initiative is also part of the “Every Family Adopts a Seed” campaign, launched by the MPA in 2018 to promote this great treasure, which generates autonomy, culture and food sovereignty for peoples. This is all amid the dismantling policy of incentives promoted by the federal government.
After the president’s veto of the Family Farming Bill (PL 735/2020) in July last year, the proposal went through the National Congress again and the so-called Assis Carvalho II Law was approved by the plenary of the Senate on August 25th. The objective of the project, which is going to be presidentially sanctioned, is to carry out actions to reduce the socioeconomic impacts caused by the covid-19 pandemic, which affect family farmers in poverty and extreme poverty.
Read also: Family farming bill, expected since the beginning of the pandemic, awaits Bolsonaro’s sanction
According to the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), the annual consumption of beans in Brazil is 14 kilos per person. Beans are a food rich in B vitamins and have antioxidant compounds, which prevent some diseases. In addition to being rich in iron, calcium and potassium, beans help reduce cholesterol and regulate blood glucose. Combined, rice and beans complement each other in the proteins necessary for a healthy diet.
Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro
Edition: Mariana Pitasse