The social movements that are acting in Brazil's rural zones to defend peasants, Indians, fishermen and slave descendants announced Monday that they will unify their demands so that they have greater strength in numbers.

The union was announced at a press conference of leaders of several organizations in Brasilia within the framework of a meeting of rural workers and peoples.

The leaders said the aim of the meeting is to agree upon a single action program for rural development that will serve as an alternative model to export-driven agriculture.

Key elements of the program include agrarian reform, the strengthening of family farmers, the demarcation of Indian reservations and the lands of slave descendants, the leaders said.

Attending the meeting are some 5,000 representatives from groups such as the MST Landless Movement, the Contag farmworkers federation, Via Campesina, the Small Farmers Movement and the Organization of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil.

The representative of Via Campesina, former MST spokesman Joao Pedro Stedile, said that Brazil urgently needs to reorganize its rural production model and stop giving incentives to the huge estates producing commodities for the global market such as soybeans, corn, meats, sugar and ethanol, among others.

"We want a reorganization of agriculture so that we can produce healthy foods ... without agrochemicals for the Brazilian people," Stedile said.

"For that, it's necessary to give production conditions to the poor person and to the landless peasant. In the monocultivation agroexporter model, which is predatory and exclusive, there is no room for the poor," he added.

"No program of fighting poverty will be successful without including agrarian reform and changes in the ownership of the land," the secretary of agrarian policy for Contag, William Clementino, said.

While the big farmers send their production abroad, family farmers generate 75 percent of the food consumed by Brazilians, he said.

The organizers of the meeting are planning to end their activities here on Wednesday with a march to the Planalto Palace, where they hope to present to President Dilma Rousseff a document that includes their requests. EFE