Category — Latin America
We have won the world’s first Ministry of Urban Agriculture, which not only holds a new possibility for a healthier, humane and economic agriculture, but also a niche from which to build the foundations for new forms of production that guarantee greater sovereignty.
By Lorena Freitez
Minister Of Popular Power For Urban Agriculture
January 6th 2017
(Must see. Mike)
The first major mission of the Ministry of Popular Power for Urban Agriculture (MINPPAU) was precisely this: 29,426 productive units were registered throughout the country, bringing together 100,000 people motivated to produce, through activating the Urban Agriculture National Registry. We prioritized 10 of the largest and most populated cities from across the country in order not to distract us from urban areas and we proposed 13 short cycle vegetables with the clear intention of having the first harvest sown in these cities between 90 and 100 days and with a minimum output (50 kg of seeds and 104,000 tomato seedlings), the production of 377 tonnes of vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, paprika, peppers, radishes, lettuce, among others) and that the produce could all be eaten at the close of the 100 day agro-urban production campaign.
This first campaign “100 Days for Urban Agriculture” was nothing more than a strategy to visualize and accompany a new political-productive “agro-urban” Venezuelan subject who, synthesizing the best of the countryside and the city, entered into economic democratization disputes. In 100 days: 1) we knew the potential of urban agriculture in Venezuela, mapping those committed to agriculture and militant in those cities; 2) we visualized the people’s capacity to solve problems; 3) we awakened restlessness and enthusiasm in those indifferent or skeptical about these new forms, subjects and productive spaces; 4) we identified the main challenges of sustainable and humane agriculture in cities.
January 7, 2017 Comments Off on Venezuela: Urban Agriculture and the Production of Plenty for the Man
This vegetable garden changed my life,” said Rita da Silva (right, in yellow). A group of women organised to collectively grow vegetables and fruit to sell in the market in Caraúbas, a nearby city in Northeast Brazil. Credit: Mario Osava/IPS
The income from the garden empowers the women, particularly in times of drought when the local crops are failing.
By Mario Osava
Inter Press Service
Dec 20, 2016
She is part of the Group of Women that organised in 2001 and adopted the slogan “United to overcome”, with the goal of having their own productive activities, reaffirming their rights and combating sexism.
“I used to only stay at home or in the fields, I wasn’t allowed to go out, to go to town. With the garden I started to go to the city to sell our products in the market, over the objections of my husband and my oldest son,” Da Silva told IPS.
December 27, 2016 Comments Off on Brazil: In the village of Primeiro do Maio 65 families have obtained land to grow crops since 1999
Bogota: 7,800,000 population. Transformation of a landfill into a farm. school, urban garden
Directed by Fernando Caneque and Paula Serna
Filmed by Daniel Barbosa
Towards the Human City
(Must see. Mike)
Rosa Evelia Poveda Guerrero, known to her friends and acquaintances as Rosita, is an inspiring and tireless woman who believes in the power of urban agriculture to solve the feeding needs of the urban poor.
In 2003, Rosa found an 1,800-meter dumpsite that was inhabited by homeless beggars in the Eastern hills of Bogotá. Having dreamt about the opportunity of having an urban farm, Rosa decided to look for the owner of this site, who gave it to her under a commodatum (gratuitous loan). Then, she moved into the dumpsite, setting up a provisional camp, and started working with her two sons on cleaning the waste that had been piling up during the past 40 years.
November 24, 2016 Comments Off on Bogota, Columbia: She Turned a Massive Garbage Dump Into An Urban Farm
When the project was presented in February, the newly created Ministry of Urban Agriculture announced that 12,000 square kilometers — about 4,600 square miles — would be planted in the first 100 days. Eight months into the project, only 21 square kilometers (about 8 square miles) of land have been cultivated, according to the ministry.
By Sofia Barbarani
Nov 1, 2016
Some Venezuelans try to look on the bright side of the experiment: Producing their own food can reduce the time spent on the streets of Caracas, where crime is skyrocketing. For De Leandro, who was once kidnapped for ransom, this is a comforting thought. She grows a stunning array of vegetables on one of her terraces.
But not all Caraquenians have enough land to cultivate produce, and water is also in short supply due to a drought.
November 1, 2016 Comments Off on Venezuela’s Controversial Urban Agriculture Plan
“Planters on Caracas balconies are not going to solve the growing problem of hunger in Venezuela,” said opposition lawmaker Maria Martinez, who sits on the National Assembly’s agricultural commission
By Andrew Rosati, Fabiola Zerpa
September 22, 2016
Critics are quick to point to more than a decade’s worth of expropriations that left fields to fallow while a flood of cheap imports during Venezuela’s oil bonanza discouraged farming entirely. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Land, almost 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) were nationalized from 2010 to 2015 alone.
September 29, 2016 Comments Off on Venezuela’s Ministry of Urban Agriculture Faces Critics
Fátima Anselmo, owner of Orgânicas da Fátima, grows organic produce in a reclaimed quarry in Rio de Janeiro. Pea vines climb bamboo stakes to her left, while banana leaves spread on the ground behind her protect a bed recently planted with carrot seeds. After finding the site in 2014, she spent more than a year and a half clearing it of rubble and building the soil from her own compost pile. Photo by Andrew Jenner.
“I always wanted to show that urban agriculture was possible,” Anselmo says. “If everyone did just a little bit of this, we’d have much healthier food and a much healthier world.”
By Andrew Jenner
August 19, 2016
Anselmo estimates that restaurants and hotels make up about 70 percent of her business. (The Olympics—great news for any host city’s hospitality industry—have been very good to Orgânicos da Fátima). The rest of her sales take place at the organic farmers markets that have begun popping up all over Rio; a decade ago, there was a single such market in all of Rio, according to ABIO, an organic farmer’s association. Today, there are 19.
August 20, 2016 Comments Off on An Abandoned Quarry Above Rio’s Olympic Village Found New Life as an Organic Farm
Those on the ground in Venezuela doubt they will resolve all their country’s food problems, but at least want to contribute to a more nutritious diet.
By Diego Ore
Aug 4, 2016
In the first data on the new push, Maduro’s government boasts that in the last three months, some 135,000 Venezuelans have produced 273 tonnes of vegetables, fruits and herbs in urban settings.
The production seems well short of this year’s goal of 3,500 tonnes, but some participants are enthusiastic.
August 5, 2016 Comments Off on Amid economic hard times, Venezuelans turn to city farming
UN in Action, Episode #1416
Dec 10, 2013
To tackle rising food insecurity in the wake of last year’s hurricanes and drought, several UN agencies, together with local charity groups have increased efforts to improve food supply in the country. One of the local initiatives is finding innovative ways of recycling used tires as planters, helping people grow farms in their own backyards.
July 28, 2016 Comments Off on Haiti: Urban Agriculture – UN Web-TV
Senior 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
May 23, 2016
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.”
May 27, 2016 Comments Off on As hunger stalks Venezuela, government encourages city-dwellers to start planting
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
March 29, 2016
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.
April 2, 2016 Comments Off on Jamaican City Farmers
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
Mar 6, 2016
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.
March 13, 2016 Comments Off on Photos of Venezuela’s rooftop food gardens
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.
Feb 28, 2016
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.
March 5, 2016 Comments Off on Venezuela Launches Ambitious Urban Agriculture Plan
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
Feb 16, 2016
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.
February 25, 2016 Comments Off on Facing Severe Food Shortages, Venezuela Pushes Urban Gardens
If we want a society that is viable, progressive, socialist and humanist, then we need … productive cities,” Maduro stated.
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.
January 31, 2016 Comments Off on Venezuela launchs a national conference on urban agriculture
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
Jan 25, 2016
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.
January 26, 2016 Comments Off on Why Did Venezuela’s Urban Agriculture Minister Vacate Her Post After Just Two Weeks?