Venezuela's Grassroots Rally Behind 100-Day Urban Agriculture Plan

As part of the economic measures to confront the economic war and the deep economic crisis, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has created the Urban Agriculture Ministry in a step that garnered strong support from various agricultural collectives who for years have used urban spaces for the production of different foodstuffs. Venezuelanalysis visited one of the projects included in the 100-day urban agriculture plan that was kicked off on February 28. 

By Jonas Holldack

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The roofs of the apartment buildings were built in the form of terraces for the purpose of giving them a social-productive function, a proposal which was seized upon by the 157 families in launching their growing project.
The roofs of the apartment buildings were built in the form of terraces for the purpose of giving them a social-productive function, a proposal which was seized upon by the 157 families in launching their growing project.

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Cultivation of the different crops varies between 30 kilograms and 12o kilograms a month, and is strictly for the community's own consumption.
Cultivation of the different crops varies between 30 kilograms and 12o kilograms a month, and is strictly for the community's own consumption.

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On the nine terraces, residents grow chives, chard, green beans, basil, cilantro, carrots, and radish.
On the nine terraces, residents grow chives, chard, green beans, basil, cilantro, carrots, and radish.

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But they also grow tomato, bell pepper, corn, and cucumber.
But they also grow tomato, bell pepper, corn, and cucumber.

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Francisco Salazar: "With this we're not going to win the economic war but we are beginning the battle." Education also represents a key dimension of the project. The residential complex has a ecological brigade of 12 boys and girls who learn about agriculture and nature.
Francisco Salazar: "With this we're not going to win the economic war but we are beginning the battle." Education also represents a key dimension of the project. The residential complex has a ecological brigade of 12 boys and girls who learn about agriculture and nature.

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. It is estimated that it will be possible to produce 30,000 tons of food with the help of various organized communities such as the communes, communal councils, eco-socialist brigades of the Tree Mission, as well as student communities in elementary and high schools. The National Bolivarian Armed Forces and the Militia will also participate. 

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. The residential complex consists of 9 buildings accommodating 157 families. Now their cultivation project has been included in the 100-day urban agriculture plan. Check out our photos of this self-managed project which aims to expand its productive capacity.

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