Food Sovereignty in Venezuela
By Evergreen State College
Photographs and text by Evergreen State College, United States, whose students visited Venezuela as part of their college course "Venezuela: Building Economic and Social Justice" earlier this year.
In our time spent in Venezuela we were able to see that much of the hype about there being a lack of food security is extremely exaggerated, and in fact the problem is not security, it is a lack of food sovereignty. While at one point Venezuela was producing much of it’s own food, since the discovery of oil in the country in the early 1900s, it makes up a negligible part of the GDP that is only beginning to increase since Chavez has taken power. This has been done through huge attempts to reform land redistribution and give it to people willing to make it productive, as well as Misiones such as AgroVenezuela, the help of Cuban Agronomists and Agroecologists, and the push to form farming cooperatives. There are also several government started projects to build urban gardens, have mobile and permanent Areperias through PDVAL ,and have created government owned Mercals with subsidized food. Here are some pictures of projects we saw.
These are some of the women at the farm Tibrocito near Caracas who we able to start the farm with the help of Banmujer, a women’s’ bank started under Chavez. They are growing everything sustainably and organically and selling it to the local community..
These pictures are from Centro Madre, which was started by PROUTists near Barlovento, VZLA. They are getting help from FONDAS (The Socialist Agricultural Development Fund) and Mision AgroVenezuela to utilize sustainable, organic techniques that are being taught to them by Cuban Agroecologists..
This sign shows all the things they are growing and practicing- including: Vermiculture (for compost), Bee Keeping, Aviculture (with chickens), Aquaculture (to raise fish to sell), and several projects dealing with produce, especially growing it efficiently and organically..
This “Organoponico” or organic urban garden, was created to provide produce in Caracas. We found it near the Bellas Artes bus stop, and found out it is in what used to be a vacant lot which was causing security concerns.Now, it is producing produce that is sold for very cheap..
This is one of the mobile “Areperias”, which sell arepas through PDVAL, a food subsidiary of the state owned oil company PDVSA. PDVAL was created to try to keep food in the country and stop the hoarding that has lead to some shortages at times..
Published on Aug 7th 2012 at 9.50pm