Agricultural Reform Day in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2020

Agricultural Reform Day in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2020
Boca de Inferno, São Tomé and Príncipe. Image by alfotokunst , via Deposit Photos

  How long until Agricultural Reform Day?
This holiday is today!
  Dates of Agricultural Reform Day in São Tomé and Príncipe
2022 São Tomé and Príncipe Fri, Sep 30 National Holiday
2021 São Tomé and Príncipe Thu, Sep 30 National Holiday
2020 São Tomé and Príncipe Wed, Sep 30 National Holiday
2019 São Tomé and Príncipe Mon, Sep 30 National Holiday
  Summary
Marks the nationalisation of agricultural land on September 30th 1975.
  Local name
Dia da Reforma Agrária

When is Agricultural Reform Day?

Agricultural Reform Day (Dia da Reforma Agrária) is a public holiday on the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe observed on September 30th each year. 

Marks the nationalisation of the swiddens (slash-and-burn agricultural land) on this day in 1975.

History of Agricultural Reform Day

At the time of independence from Portugal in 1975, Portuguese-owned plantations occupied 90% of the cultivated area. To make the most of the fertile but mountainous land, swiddens were used. Swidden agriculture is a form of shifting agriculture in which the forest is cleared and burned prior to the rains. The resulting clearing, or swidden, is planted with a number of crops.  

Soil fertility is restored through the natural regeneration of secondary forest. The advantage of the technique is that it is simple; requiring few tools, a machete and a hoe, and no chemical or animal fertilizers. The major investment is labour to clear the land.

During a rally, on September 30th 1975, the nationalisation of the swiddens was announced.

This was a significant milestone in the development of agriculture in the fledgling country. The holiday is an occasion to remember this and to also promote the development of agriculture in the country.

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