This Act establishes the general bases of the Agricultural Reform. The first part deals with a historical view of Cape Verdean life illustrating the different and traditional ways of exploiting agriculture, livestock and all other resources. The Act establishes the bases for the organization and accomplishment of the agricultural reform. It is divided into 7 chapters as follows: Introduction (1); Fundamental principles (2); Transformation of agricultural structures (3); Guarantee of land usufruct rights (4); Agricultural development (5); Agricultural reform organs (6); Transitional provisions (chap. 7). Chapter 1 defines: landowner, rural lessee, leasing, direct and indirect exploitation, sharecropping, rural welling, agricultural producer, rural workmen, agricultural production unit, etc. Chapter 2 regards the transformation of agricultural structures with a view to increasing and improving agricultural productivity and workmen's conditions through the promotion of: usufruct and exploitation rights for land workers; agricultural associations, cooperatives in particular; agricultural reorganization; social and cultural enhancement of rural communities, etc. (art. 3). The Agricultural Reform shall be carried out in compliance with national legislation and the National Development Plan. The Government may apply different agricultural reform programs according to the different geo-climatic and social realities (art. 6). Agricultural land categories are specified on the basis of the different categories of rural lands and the different nature of the occupiers and of their use of such lands (art. 7). Chapter 3 deals with the suppression of sharecropping contracts (arts. 8 and 9) and the control of coffee plantations (art. 10). The transfer of agricultural production units is possible only when the exploitation of lands is carried out by non-owners (indirect regime) (arts. 11 and 12). The landowner transferring the agricultural unit has the right to apply for compensation (art. 13). The expropriation of indirectly exploited lands shall be enforced, in case of death or absence of the landowner and in all other cases established under this Act. The expropriation procedure is submitted to the authorities responsible for agricultural reform (arts. 14-20). Compensation will be granted by the Government from the Agricultural Reform Fund. Leases of rural lands which cannot be expropriated are automatically renewed in the prescribed terms, except in cases in which it represents the landowner's only income. This Act also deals with cases of rural lease in the landowner's absence (arts. 23-25). Chapter 4 establishes that agricultural land usufruct of expropriated lands in compliance with Chapter 3 shall be granted to farmers exploiting the lands at the moment of expropriation according to the Law. The Ministry of Rural Development may prohibit the agricultural exploitation of lands suffering from erosion, but in this case, the agricultural exploitation of another land must be guaranteed (art. 26). Articles 26-32 deal with land concessions: agricultural land categories, types of concession, rural land usufruct rights, land division between landowner, lessee, or farmer, partial concession, land usufruct beneficiaries, concession procedures (including tax-free concessions), requirements, etc. Land usufruct rights confer the perpetual right of agricultural exploitation free of tax (art. 33). Articles 33-39 regulate land usufruct rights: transfer upon decease, termination, order of priority for concessions (farmers of non-expropriated land, agricultural cooperatives, various cooperatives managed by workmen, direct farmers who have a smaller land surface than that decided by the competent organs for agricultural reform), etc. Chapter 5 deals with agricultural development measures, such as: improvement of techniques, transport, storage, conservation and distribution; regulation of product trading; farmers' cultural development; organization and development of rural extension and scientific research. The Government shall establish incentives for agricultural production, in particular for the creation of an agricultural credit system; upgrading of machinery; agricultural insurance (against climate and pests); tax incentives, etc. National agricultural producers may benefit from such incentives (art. 41). Chapter 6: the implementation of agricultural reform is to be carried out by the Government, the National Council of Agricultural Reform and the Agricultural Reform Committees. Competencies are specified in articles 44-46, whereas articles 47 and 48 deal with the creation of the Agricultural Reform Fund and the Local Fund for Rural Development. Chapter 7 specifies that rural land transfers are submitted to the Ministry of Rural Development; the State has the priority in the purchase of rural lands; if there is a non-written contract a landowner with a lease contract must notify such transfers to the Agricultural Reform Committee. If the landowner does not notify it within one year, the land shall be converted into national property without compensation. The Government shall regulate the following matters by Ministerial Decree: compensation and expropriation procedures; the statute of rural lands; organization, administration and implementation of the Local Fund for Rural Development.
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