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Public policies that promote agroecology as an alternative to agribusiness concentration, the loss of biodiversity and the pollution of water sources, the creation of local markets and the saving of native seeds, were some of the issues discussed on July 17 at a workshop organized by members of the Native Seeds Network towards the development of a National Agroecology Plan (PNA).
The work towards the development of this Plan has gathered the Uruguayan Agroecology Network with the Native Seeds Network, Redes-Friends of the Earth through the Sustainable Uruguay Program and other organizations.
Approximately 20 members of the Seeds Network worked for two days around the needs of said PNA, the measures necessary to promote the transition to agroecological farming and the differences in the production of healthy food.
Some of the issues dealt with included the capacity building of people on agroecology, communication work to visibilize this alternative way of relating to the ecosystem and advocacy work to make this possible.
During the debates it was made clear that it is necessary to deepen alliances both with family farming and urban farming organizations and also with workers unions and social organizations.
They also highlighted the need to safeguard ecological food producers from extensive and intensive farming practices that affect them, for instance through the GM contamination of native maize, the use of pesticides and agrotoxics or the concentration of resources such as arable lands and water for irrigation.
To give priority to agroecological proposals for vegetable and animal farming in policies to access finance and public lands was also included in the set of proposals around the PNA.
This is what Alejandro Wassen said, cattle farmer form Tacuarembó department and member of the group that accessed the land known as “La Lata” of the National Colonization Institute, which has been developing collective cattle breeding experiences.
Wassen highlighted the work methodology to spread agroecology known as “from farmer to farmer” through which “the peasant farmer listens through their eyes and doesn´t believe that something that he hasn´t seen is possible”.
Meanwhile, Graciela Rodriguez, member of the Calmañana rural women network that produces aromatic herbs said that they are demanding the State “to look at us, to realize that there are many women and agroecological farmers, that it is possible to produce healthy food which can be consumed by everyone”.
In the photo gallery below we share different moments of the working session that took place on July 17 in Canelones, Uruguay.
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