Agroecology as Resistance: The Case of Venezuela

Miguel Angel Núñez

He who believes, believes

He who creates, creates

The doer transforms himself

And the society he lives in.

Mayan Proverb – EZLN

Agroecology in the different agricultural productive spaces and at a global level, is positioning itself as the only valid option to advance and overcome the different onslaughts that globalizing corporate agriculture has imposed on us.

Several studies and research projects have shown that this new and ancient emerging science contributes to mitigating and/or reducing the effects of greenhouse gases.

In addition to being recognized in its principles and ancestral agricultural practices, agroecology has contributed substantially towards consolidating the different currents of sustainable agriculture and the various primary agricultural modalities that converge today.

In this agro-ecological re-creation, there are manifested: the original agricultures, indigenous, peasant, family, where in their dynamics and productive processes, they are emphasized in the associations of crops or polycultures, as maximum expressions of our Creole, Caribbean, Andean, Amazonian and agroforestry communities.

It is in the association of crops or polycultures, where the principles of agroecology are manifested, giving a multiplicity of functional connections and providing us in the productive processes of each modalities and trends the required stability. The productivity of agroecosystems becomes more efficient and effective. Such functional stability contributes to the storage of organic matter, especially organic carbon, producing an agroecological soil. Other biological, chemical and physical activities are simultaneously taking place.

These multiple functions and many others that occur in all the processes mentioned above, have been well studied, to reaffirm: that the greater biodiversity we have in an agroecosystem, the more stable and resilient they tend to become. (*) (Altieri and Nichols 2013). They add that biodiversity must be promoted in order to maintain the capacity for self-regulation of agroecosystems. (See other authors; SEAE-(2018).

The diverse advantages that agroecological science has presented us, in recovering, preserving and making agroecosystems more productive, have allowed us to consider and promote their escalation in the different spaces and productive levels.

More so in today’s Venezuela, which is resisting: the various factors that sabotage production; the scarcity of financing for the acquisition of traditional agricultural supplies; a non-conventional war; whether commissioned or unnamed; and the arbitrary, illegal, criminal and inhuman sanctions imposed by Trump’s insane administration.

Hence, the Venezuelan government’s understanding of the importance of the association of crops that the various communities manifest. And officially decreed war crops (corn, banana, caraota, beans, yams, sweet potatoes, potatoes, quinchoncho (Decree #3824-2019). Faced with this manifest reality, where small and medium producers (konuqueros and konuqueras), with a primary production of about 80% perishable food. (See: Cursio (2018), Castro (2019), Núñez (2019).

Therefore, we strongly affirm that we are re-emerging in this Venezuela of war and economic sabotage. For this reason, we must permanently recognize that the optimal and objective conditions are presented to us, in order to promote the transition processes towards the definitive positioning of agroecology at the national level.

Below we present some challenges which agroecology in Venezuela is currently anticipating:

1) Scaling up, deploying and systematizing the agroecological experiences undertaken in Venezuela and advancing in the promotion of public and institutional policies.

2) Expand resources for agroecological research. (Research Needs Plan) (2011) clearly define several strategic lines for agroecology and those that can be added.

3) Integrate and promote agricultural practices in the application of agroecological principles and strategies.

4) Mitigate climate change and recover degraded soils and watersheds.

5) As it has been modestly expressed in some areas of the national geography; we must promote research, scaling up and consolidation of our seed production with the agroecological approach.

6) From the scientific-peasant alliance, promote the different appropriate and appropriate eco-technologies, to advance in agroecological science.

7) Increase family agricultural employment and promote territorial communal economic circuits with solidarity markets.

8) To improve the food health of the population.

9) Gain more political will to advance in the processes of technical-scientific transition in training programs and in the various agricultural production processes.

10) In order to scale up our national agro-ecological production experiences, it is necessary to advance in the establishment of alliances with friendly countries (those that live with desertification in the South of the Sahara; in Asia the survivors of the green revolution and the countless environmental-social movements of the American continent). Demonstrating with plenty and without protagonisms, the contributions that our society has been giving to the mitigation of climatic changes.

All these initiatives, and others that may be incorporated, are destined to shape the different debates and reflections among those who truly identify with the agro-ecological future; in their contributions and the extent of their commitments. Where our priority is: the defense of our homeland and as a productive vanguard: agroecology.

Recognizing such directionality also implies meeting and building among our peasant movements; agroecological producers; ecosocialist militants; technicians, consumer networks, diverse unions, students, among others: the patriotic-group-collective unity. Which, leads us to consolidate; another contribution of agroecology for the United Nations.

Re-affirming the presence of agroecological science in war crops in Venezuela also implies understanding what agroecology represents in figure A. It expresses its direct and ongoing influence on the objectives # 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,11,12,13,15 and 17 of the sustainable development of the agenda 2030, defined by the United Nations. And, short and long range the # 1,2,10,14 and 16.

An unprecedented sinceration of agroecology is understood by the contribution of the fulfillment of the objectives of the agenda 2030-UN, which is one more reason, to learn from each other and prosper together. Re-editing new meetings, which may assist us to drive the many initiatives for change, for the advancement of the transition of agroecology and the construction of the new scientific-agricultural paradigm that future generations and civilizing processes continue to demand of us.

Figure “A”.

AGROECOLOGY

Ongoing
Sustainable Development Goals 2030

Short and long range
Sustainable Development Goals 2030

(*) Resilience is defined as the functional capacity of an agroecosystem to withstand any alteration or disorder it modifies.

References

Altieri M.A. and Nichols C. (2013) Online Agroecology and Climate Change. Methodologies for Evaluating Socio-Ecological Resilience in Rural Communities REDAGRRES-CYTED-SOCLA. https://www.socla.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/REDAGRESlibro2.pdf

Decree No. 3824. Official Gazette of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. April 17, 2019 Resolution # 16 Presidential Extraordinary No. 6450 Year CXLVI-MES VII

Cultivando Patria” Program No. 112 (segment 3)14/04/2019, the Minister of Agriculture and Land, Wilmer Castro Soteldo, Online https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cg0RlbqcUo

Economic War Today. Economic Recovery Plan. (2018) Cursio, C. P. Source National Institute of Nutrition. Food Balance Sheets. Several Years. 1980-2014.

Research Needs. Definition of Areas, Strategic Lines and Research Needs. (2011) Ministry for the Popular Power of Science, Technologies and Intermediate Industries. Caracas, Venezuela. Online.http://www.postgradovipi.50webs.com/archivos/descargas/necesidades_investigacion.pdf

Núñez, M.A. (2019) Online. Pueblos Alimentando Pueblos. https://www.tatuytv.org/cambios-y-rectificaciones-pueblos-alimentando-a-pueblos/.

“Agroecology has clear potential both to mitigate climate change and to improve the resilience of the agricultural sector”(2018) Sociedad Española de Agricultura Agroecologia(SEAE) Online: https://www.agroecologia.net/potencial-agroecologia-adapta-cambioclimatico/

Translation by Internationalist 360°