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Category — Latin America

As hunger stalks Venezuela, government encourages city-dwellers to start planting

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venxSenior citizens in Caracas, Venezuela, get a lesson on urban agriculture. As the nation finds itself in a food crisis, the government is urging city-dwellers to plant fruits and vegetables. Jim Wyss Miami Herald.

The Ministry of Urban Agriculture was created this year – Inflation, hoarding reflected on dinner tables – Only 54 percent of people report eating three meals a day

By Jim Wyss
Miami Herald
May 23, 2016

Excerpt:

Caracas, Venezuela: On a recent weekday, just a few miles from where the government was holding military exercises preparing for a foreign invasion, about a dozen senior citizens were gathered in a classroom learning about another war-time innovation.

“Vertical gardens were pioneered during World War II,” a teacher said as he instructed them on how to turn plastic bottles into planters that could be hung on a wall or balcony. “We need to take advantage of every space possible.”

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May 27, 2016   Comments Off on As hunger stalks Venezuela, government encourages city-dwellers to start planting

Jamaican City Farmers

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Majesty Gardens backyard farmers Shana-Kay Armstrong, Anthony Bailey (centre) and Lornell Smith show some of the chickens from their farm.

Farming has typically been associated with the rural areas of Jamaica, but three young people have laid this stereotype to rest as they run a thriving livestock farm within one of the Kingston metropolitan area’s toughest communities.

By Javene Skyers
Jamaica Observer
March 29, 2016

Excerpt:

Majesty Gardens residents Shana-Kay Armstrong, Anthony Bailey, and Lornell Smith raise goats, pigs and chickens in their backyard, which serves as their main form of employment.

“Wi jus deh ya siddung an’ a reason one day and wi say, ‘yu know say nuhbody nah raise nuh chicken in the area; yu know wi can do a business out of it’. A suh comes wi just say wi a go line up some funds and go inna it,” 21-year-old Bailey said of the joint effort.

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April 2, 2016   Comments Off on Jamaican City Farmers

Photos of Venezuela’s rooftop food gardens

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venezFrancisco Salazar: “With this we’re not going to win the economic war but we are beginning the battle.”

In the Great Venezuelan Housing Mission residential complex of Las Fuentes in south-central Caracas, close to 45 residents have been growing crops on the roofs of their apartment blocks.

By Jonas Holldack
Venezuelanalysis
Mar 6, 2016

Excerpt:

The plan began with the sowing of 1,200 hectares with 13 different crops, including chard, chives, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, tomato, onion, sweet pepper, beats, bell pepper, carrots, and lettuce. At the close of 100 days, the plan is to have expanded cultivation to 12,000 hectares in order to meet 20% of the consumer demand in the eight participating cities.

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March 13, 2016   Comments Off on Photos of Venezuela’s rooftop food gardens

Venezuela Launches Ambitious Urban Agriculture Plan

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The urban agricultural initiative should extend to 12,000 kilometers of crops in the next 100 days. | Photo: AVN

In the long term, the products should be able to supply about 20 percent of the total food consumption of the residents living in the eight participating cities.

Telesur
Feb 28, 2016

Excerpt:

The 100-day Plan for Urban Agriculture started Sunday in eight Venezuelan cities in a bid to provide about 1,300 people with vegetables and fruits.

The dedicated 13 lots cover about 1,200 hectares, but should extend 12,000 kilometers by the end of the next 100 days, said Venezuela’s Vice President Aristonulo Isturiz.

Distribution plans to the urban population will be set up according to the various moments of harvest season.

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March 5, 2016   Comments Off on Venezuela Launches Ambitious Urban Agriculture Plan

Facing Severe Food Shortages, Venezuela Pushes Urban Gardens

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Mileidis Bolivar shows off the tomatoes that she grows on her rooftop garden in a Caracas slum. John Otis for NPR.

Critics say Maduro should focus on making life easier for traditional farmers. Home to vast stretches of fertile land, Venezuela could grow much of its own food. Instead, production has collapsed.

By John Ortis
NPR
Feb 16, 2016

Excerpt:

Josefina Requena is among those who have heeded Maduro’s call. Cucumbers, green pepper, passion fruit and other produce grow in the front yard of her home in a slum in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital. She also has a chicken coop.

On a sweltering recent afternoon, I joined Requena and some other Caracas residents on a hike into the mountains that rise above the city. They were on a mission to find dirt for their gardens — which they keep on balconies, rooftops and small plots of their homes. After digging up the fresh earth, they lugged it back down the mountain.

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February 25, 2016   Comments Off on Facing Severe Food Shortages, Venezuela Pushes Urban Gardens

Venezuela launchs a national conference on urban agriculture

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Under President Nicolas Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan government began promoting urban agriculture as a way to improve food sovereignty. | Photo: Minci

If we want a society that is viable, progressive, socialist and humanist, then we need … productive cities,” Maduro stated.

Telesur
Jan 30, 2016

The Venezuelan government is meeting with grassroots groups to discuss expanding the country’s urban agriculture.
Venezuela launched Saturday a national conference on urban agriculture, aimed to boost the productivity of small scale crops in major cities like Caracas.

The conference is the first of its kind in Venezuela, and will include government officials and representatives of grassroots organizations. President Nicolas Maduro is also expected to attend.

The president has said improving urban agriculture will support his government’s aim to bolster the broader economy.

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January 31, 2016   Comments Off on Venezuela launchs a national conference on urban agriculture

Why Did Venezuela’s Urban Agriculture Minister Vacate Her Post After Just Two Weeks?

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Emma Ortega was a well respected campesina activist and agronomist (AVN).

The reply is that we believe that she did what she promised to do. Going over the heads of bureaucracy, paperwork, seats, desks, offices, posturing and fawning media types, and she dared to get to work straight away,” reads the piece.

By Rachael Boothroyd Rojas
Venezuela Analysis
Jan 25, 2016

Excerpt:

Grassroots Chavistas have taken to social media to express their discontent after the Urban Agriculture Minister, Emma Ortega, inexplicably left her cabinet position just two weeks after being nominated by Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.

Last Thursday Maduro revealed on Twitter that he had replaced Ortega – a 62 year old outspoken grassroots activist brought into the president’s inner team in a cabinet shake-up on January 6th.

“I have designated comrade @lorenafreitez as Minister of Urban Agriculture to propel the productive revolution from communities,” he Tweeted.

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January 26, 2016   Comments Off on Why Did Venezuela’s Urban Agriculture Minister Vacate Her Post After Just Two Weeks?

Native Women in Bolivia, Green the Outskirts of the City, Feed Their Families

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Two of the peri-urban agricultural producers of Sucre proudly show one of their greenhouses, which families from 83 poor suburban neighbourhoods have set up in their yards as part of the National Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture Programme. Credit: Franz Chávez/IPS

The initiative has 680 members so far, said Guido Zambrana, a young agronomist who runs the Urban Garden Project.

By Franz Chávez
Inter Press Service
SUCRE, Bolivia, Oct 17 2015 (IPS)

Excerpt:

The lunch we are served is soup made with vegetables grown in their backyard gardens, accompanied by tortillas made with cornmeal mixed with flour from different vegetables. Fresh produce is also grown in greenhouses built throughout the hills of Sucre, 2,760 metres above sea level and 420 km south of La Paz, the country’s political centre.

The women have learned how to grow vegetables and how to improve their family’s food security, Tolaba explained. “We want to reach zero malnutrition,” she said. In Sucre temperatures range between 12 and 25 degrees Celcius. But in the greenhouses, built by the families with support from the government, temperatures climb above 30 degrees.

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October 18, 2015   Comments Off on Native Women in Bolivia, Green the Outskirts of the City, Feed Their Families

Agricultura urbana en manos de mujeres

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Johnny Antesano, a 4-year old Guarani indigenous boy in Choroquepiao, a small village in the Chaco region of Bolivia, helps his mother, Yela Vilera, in their family garden. They and their neighbors started their gardens with assistance from Church World Service, supplementing their corn-based diet with nutritious vegetables and fruits. Photo by Paul Jeffrey.

Las tecnologías ecológicas pueden solucionar el grave problema del costo a los consumidores finales

La Razón (Edición Impresa) / Crispim Moreira
12 de septiembre de 2015

Excerpt:

Al menos 400 mujeres campesinas migrantes de áreas rurales de Bolivia producen alimentos ecológicos en áreas periurbanas para la nutrición de sus familias y el abastecimiento alimentario de miles de hogares en la ciudad de Sucre, como resultado de la cooperación técnica entre autoridades del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia y la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO).

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October 8, 2015   Comments Off on Agricultura urbana en manos de mujeres

Cuban experiences in urban agriculture and greenhouse crops will be implemented in Panama

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Panama and Cuba Sign Agreement for Agricultural Cooperation

Prensa Latina
Sept 21, 2015

Panama, Sep 21 (Prensa Latina) A memorandum of understanding on agricultural cooperation between Panama and Cuba was signed today here by the Minister of Agricultural Development (MIDA), Jorge Arango and Cuban Ambassador Antonio Pardo.

The agreements so far are mainly in the scientific-technical area and the first project to be implemented will be the use in Panama of Cuban experiences in urban agriculture and greenhouse crops, stated the ambassador.

This agreement is a result of the recent visit of President Juan Carlos Varela to Cuba, which increased the relations between the two countries, with emphasis in trade and the links between Panama’s Colon Free Zone and the Cuban Port of Mariel, stated Pardo.

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September 28, 2015   Comments Off on Cuban experiences in urban agriculture and greenhouse crops will be implemented in Panama

Urban Agriculture in Bogota, Columbia

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We wanted to create projects to build a social network, by creating urban gardens. There are currently about 25 gardens in that area.

Bogota Post
July 31

Excerpt:

Maria Elena Villamil, born and raised in the Perseverancia barrio, owns an urban farm where she has been growing her own fruit and vegetables for the past eight years. “I did two years of training with SENA in urban agriculture to better understand how I could grow and produce here. We couldn’t grow in the soil, there’s a really old cypress tree that was stealing all the nutrients, so we created raised beds.”

“We grow crops that are traditional to the Sabana de Bogota, during the past eight years that’s been a total of 80 different crops. I’ve grown 15 types of lettuce, eight types of potatoes, four types of corn, three types of celery, six types of tomatoes… we change each year,” she explains.

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August 7, 2015   Comments Off on Urban Agriculture in Bogota, Columbia

Costa Rica: Family orchards to reduce carbon footprint

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In the backyard of the company owner various products are grown, including chilli, celery, basil, lettuce, cilantro, chives, mustard, tomato, oregano and lavender, among others.

Source: La República
6/9/2015

“Urban agriculture systems offer a practical way to grow frequently consumed vegetables, helping promote food security and proper nutrition,” said Alex Pacheco, head of the Demo Farm of Peri-urban Agriculture of Earth University.

The advantages of the system range from making it possible to obtain fresh, healthy food, to reducing expenditure, allowing for better family integration and boosting local economies through entrepreneurship.

An example of this is the company called Hidroponías La Ribera, based in Heredia, which supplies everything necessary to anyone interested in growing hydroponic plants.

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June 15, 2015   Comments Off on Costa Rica: Family orchards to reduce carbon footprint

FAO: Urban and peri-urban agriculture: the way forward for a zero hunger world

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FAO Examples in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Caribbean Regions

By Ms Isabel Denis
EuDevDays
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
11 May 2015

Excerpt:

With a growing population estimate to more than 9 billion by 2050 and the growing of the cities estimate to 3,5 billion by 2025, the urban world will have to face challenges and opportunities. 85% of poor people in Latin America and around 50% in Africa and Asia will be concentrate in cities. In many developing countries, urban grow is link with the hope for rural populations to escape hunger, unemployment and insecurity.

They spend most of their income to feed themselves and suffer malnutrition, even at a higher grade than in rural areas, and 30% of them are unemployed. The vulnerable populations socially excluded, generally young and unemployed are a “new bomb” and source of global insecurity which constitute a challenge for the governments to solve.

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June 13, 2015   Comments Off on FAO: Urban and peri-urban agriculture: the way forward for a zero hunger world

Community Gardens in São Paulo, Brazil

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Conheça 6 hortas comunitárias espalhadas por São Paulo

By Marcia Sousa
CicloVivo
27 de Abril de 2015

Excerpt:

As hortas comunitárias estão invadindo as cidades. Com muita disposição e vontade de “fazer a diferença”, muitas pessoas têm dedicado tempo e suor para colocar literalmente a mão na massa. O CicloVivo separou 6 iniciativas espalhadas pela cidade.

Horta da Vila Indiana

Localizada em uma praça entre as ruas Souza Reis e Corinto, está a horta comunitária da Vila Indiana – bairro do Butantã, próximo à Cidade Universitária. Com extensão modesta, ela também é conhecida como “Hortinha do Kiko”, em homenagem a um morador querido da região.

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June 1, 2015   Comments Off on Community Gardens in São Paulo, Brazil

Shanghai’s Green Ring Generates Half of The City’s Food

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Update May 2015 – RUAF – Resource Centres on Urban Agriculture and Food Security

This RUAF Update informs you about our latest activities including:

Ongoing activities:
• CITYFOOD network
• Milan Urban Food Policy Pact
• CityFoodTools workshop on city region food system assessment
• Role of urban agriculture in working with refugees in Jordan
• WABEF: using slaughterhouse waste for bio-energy production
• Successful course on Food Security in an Urbanising Society
• Young Expert Programme

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May 18, 2015   Comments Off on Shanghai’s Green Ring Generates Half of The City’s Food