The alternatives to confront the current situation in our country are emerging at different points. Initiatives promoted by different sectors, the government, social organizations, communes, peasant sectors, professionals and workers in the big cities.
In recent weeks, the U.S. government has deepened the criminal blockade even further, attacking the general population more directly. Measures that are endorsed by sectors of the opposition cannot at this point disguise the direct consequences on the people that these measures bring, fundamentally in the daily food that is brought to the table of millions of Venezuelan families. Such is the impact that President Nicolás Maduro expressed in last Saturday’s mobilization, that by the end of the year, all the products of the CLAP boxes must be of national production.
Faced with this reality, the production sector acquires strategic importance. An important expression of this sector are the small and medium producers, peasants with and without land that are organized in the National Productive Alliance (ANP), a space for coordination, articulation and monitoring of the organizational and productive plan in the territories that have been in existence for two years.
The ANP aims to be an advanced alternative, understanding the role of the producer in this historic moment of the country. The ANP strives to mass produce the necessary food. Our country has the capacity, the land, the seeds and the necessary supplies, and principally the women and men to do it.
At the organizational level, this alliance is deployed in 13 municipalities in 7 states. It is articulated in productive tables of national, regional and municipal coordination. As Aníbal Montilla, the national coordinator, explains, the only requirement for participation in these roundtables is to be a producer.
Clearly, the ANP has a political orientation, which does not exclude those who think differently. In these tables they organize, debate and develop the networks of producers of diverse items: networks of milk producers, cheese producers, networks of coconut, rice and corn growers, as well as peasants with and without land.
The committees have the function of confronting the problems that arise at the time of production, from there it coordinates with the State and also with various local expressions, such as universities, other producers, Bolivarian National Militia, community members and other expressions of popular power.
The institutions mainly require technical support, infrastructure and supplies. Although it is not expected to be totally dependent on them, it is necessary to work and resolve issues between the same producers, in collective work, “cayapa”, “mano vuelta”, work for mutual benefit.
The committees in turn have different coordination based on the needs of each municipality and its particularities at the time of production. In general, we find coordination of infrastructure, supplies, technical, legal and security, to cite a few examples.
Regarding the productive deployment itself, the ANP has been working on two main lines, while projecting a third, namely: the 2019 sowing plan, the Conuquero plan and the “northern summer” legume sowing plan.
The 2019 sowing plan is based on two main products. In agreements with the Ministry of People’s Power for Agriculture and Lands, inputs were provided, mainly seeds, for the planting of 1000 hectares of corn and 100 hectares of rice.
The Conuquero plan, which is currently the most developed, is implemented through the national network of conuqueros, in which 7,000 small and medium producers participate. In this case, 2576 hectares of corn, 2654 hectares of rice and 1522 hectares of beans are sown. A central element in this case is the seeding of these conuqueros, mainly rice, which is a product that is monopolized in the market. Rice has a yield of 6000 kilograms per hectare, which is why in this emerging plan we are talking about 16 million kilograms of rice, or 16 thousand tons.
The intention is to call on the largest number of conuqueros in the country to produce rice. Because the food produced in the Conuco is what is never lacking at the table of Venezuelan families. The ANP understands the Conuco as a concept of family economy for resistance in the context of blockade, siege and economic war.
Finally, with regard to the projection of the legume plan, the aim is to plant between 10,000 and 15,000 hectares of beans and caraota, with the same design. To this end, a census is being carried out in the 13 municipalities where the alliance is deployed, in the states of Táchira, Barinas, Mérida, Apure and Portuguesa,Trujillo and Guárico.
As an agenda of struggle and planning, the productive coordination committees at different levels are working on the promotion of seed banks in each territory, to face the next sowing cycles and at the same time a struggle for a plan to distribute fuel, gasoline and diesel for food production. In these times of scarcity of this resource, it is urgent to prioritize its allocation in the quantities necessary to maintain the delivery of food to Venezuelan tables.
The effects of the economic war and the blockade can be countered as initiatives such as those deployed in the National Productive Alliance expand and are strengthened, initiatives that contribute to the defense of our independence and our sovereignty, in this case food sovereignty.