Venezuelan Ecosocialism: Appreciation of Peasant Agriculture

Miguel Angel Núñez
https://www.tatuytv.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/agricultura_campesina_miguel_nu%C3%B1ez.jpgRegardless of the unstable situation of harassment, economic and technological blockades, etc. experienced by the different Venezuelan production sectors, we have maintained our primary food production. Between 2008-2018, the average decrease has been around 23% (22’575.705 MT) and the last 4 years of that period 12% (17.507.314 MT). Programme No. 112 (segment 3) “Cultivando Patria” of 14/04/2019. These figures come from the Konuquera peasant and family production.

Historically, this original production of food is consistent with other productive testimonies, such as original and indigenous agriculture; agroforestry; crop associations, milpas, chinampas, some traditional agricultural technologies such as green fertilizers, terraceo; Zai of Africa, integrated systems of crops and fish, different multivariate arrangements of polycultures, among others.

These cheap and healthy traditional ways of producing food, jobs, services and expertise are supported by significant social, cultural, economic and technological contributions, worthy of being taken into account, in view of the national urgency to produce more food.

For this reason, we invite you to evaluate and debate the re-signification of peasant-family production in order to come closer to redefining the new political proposals towards the construction of the new agrifood sovereignty from the following premises:

Ongoing dialogue of knowledge: It is permanent among the productive communities, which nourish themselves with new knowledge and strengthen elements of social resistance present in the localities, which sustain the rationales defined from their own socio-cultural-productive identity.

Participatory processes: These productive initiatives are accompanied by different methods not only to emphasize and make valid the social relevance, but also participation helps in the design and methods for proposals of endogeneity providing the integral, harmonic and strategic character of the social organization of production.

Social co-responsibility: Transfer of knowledge, different levels of knowledge are valued horizontally and vertically.

Innovation: The popular technological expressions found in the productive dynamics are sustainable, starting from the material bases of local resources and from the wisdom and ingenuity of our peasants.

Harmony: The peasant rationale in the use of local natural resources, provides a harmony between the maintenance or increase of quality of life, implicit and oriented to collective welfare and the complementarity of actions that has always existed between producers.

The social solidarity economy: We are the ones who believe that one of the most dynamic parts of the new economies will be the production of healthy food free of agrotoxins. These are already being strengthened through alternative and fraternal local markets accompanied by the principles that govern the social solidarity economy. These principles point towards co-management, shared work, barter, fair distribution of resources and profits, and levels of autonomy.

Public intervention: The fact that our peasant-family agriculture tends to generate degrees of autonomy in productive communities does not mean that public intervention cannot exist. This intervention must be adjusted to the dynamics of participatory processes in the definition of the agendas of agricultural production elaborated by the communities. All the institutional support proposed by these agendas must be respected and channelled. We do not believe that there are formulas or generic mandates in this respect in these interactions: public institutions; private sector and peasant and social movements. What should be emphasized is that for all spaces “the re-construction of agrifood sovereignty” must be a state priority, guaranteeing and exercising the mandate of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in its article no. 305 to nourish itself with foodstuffs of high biological use free of agrotoxins.

All these premises and assessments that we could add, guide the scientific spirit of agroecology. This in turn, generates new knowledge that reinforces previous knowledge.

In this sense, the main trend of agroecological science is to unify all knowledge (indigenous people, peasants, scientists and others) with socio-economical, ecological and technical perspectives for the design, management and evolution of the productive system and its existing social and cultural base. In this new, old agricultural science, one finds itself part of the scientific alliance and of the knowledge consciousness of the people of the world.

Translation by Internationalist 360°