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Social Worker Ana Agostino, PhD, was one of the speakers at the Collective Thinking Panels that were part of the Harvest Festival organized by agroecological grain cooperative Graneco. Agostino made reference to the concepts of sustainability, growth and also development.
Agostino is Montevideo´s Ombudsman, appointed by the Departmental Government, and as such she has been involved in issues related to food production, from a sovereignty perspective. An example of this is the implementation of a regulation that establishes the labeling of food with a certain percentage of GM content.
"External environmental aspects that are not included in the projects related to the territory result in a false economic equation", said Agostino, which she referred to as a "green hypocrisy that we need to unmask".
It is not possible to speak of sustainability, if we don´t speak of the economic, social and environmental dimensions", she highlighted. Her approach to identify the challenges of real sustainability included criticism to the concept of development itself.
The intervention by the Ombudsman appealed to alternative studies and approaches and warned that the concept has been incorporated by Third World countries that identify themselves as "developing countries".
"As human beings we have to ask ourselves "How much is it necessary?" "Can we continue producing indefinitely?", she said.
Agostino also raised the need to question "conventional wisdom" and modify it through facts, practices that already exist and of which Graneco´s experience is proof.
The Harvest Festival gathered over 50 farmers, popular educators and several authorities of the rural sector of Montevideo, capital of Uruguay.
The members of Graneco grow their products in over 60 hectares of land, they multiply their seeds and produce the only agroecological flour of the Uruguayan market, whose demand widely exceeds the supply.
Photos: Sara Pont
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