Business & Economy

Protesting small farmers set up produce fair outside Argentine Congress

Buenos Aires, May 31 (EFE).- Argentine small farmers and members of social organizations gathered here Tuesday and held a new “verdurazo” outside Congress, selling produce at steep discounts as part of a protest to demand legislative action to improve their living and working conditions.

Dozens of people sold fruit, vegetables and other products from different regional economies under the banner “We’re Not the Problem. We’re Part of the Solution.”

One of the demonstrators’ main demands was the approval of implementing regulations for Law 27.118, which was enacted in December 2014 to promote family farms in Argentina and facilitate the sale of their products in a broader marketplace.

Daniel Marcos, a member of the Dignidad Rural (Rural Dignity) collective, one of the organizers of the event, said in remarks to Efe that having a regulatory framework in place would ensure the South American country’s “food security and sovereignty.”

“We say we’re the solution and not the problem” to a monoculture-triggered crisis in which neither healthy food nor prices are guaranteed, Marcos said. “The ones who can guarantee that are the family farmers.”

Other verdurazos have been held in recent months in Argentina by small farmers, who say the implementing regulations would allow them to boost production of healthy food and get it to market at a more accessible price and without having to go through intermediaries.

Another of the protesters’ demands, according to Dignidad Rural’s Silvina Correa, is access to land and affordable rural housing.

“Today, besides production, what we’re thinking about is housing, in organizing small communities in the areas where we live. The idea, within a short period of time, is to live in the places where we farm,” Correa said in remarks to Efe.

This latest “verdurazo” also was motivated by the delicate economic situation in Argentina, a country with severe macroeconomic imbalances over the past three years and a sky high annual inflation rate that hit 58 percent in April. EFE


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