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20.04.2018 |

Argentine small-scale farmers give away vegetables in land protest

Verdurazo in 2016 (Photo: Emergente, bit.ly/vazo16, cc: bit.ly/bync20)

Farmers in Argentina have distributed tonnes of produce for free as part of a protest to demand access to land. The event dubbed “el verdurazo” started on Tuesday, with some 1,500 farmers gathering outside Congress in the capital of Buenos Aires in order to press for the passage of a law that would enable family farmers and other small producers to buy the land they farm. During the three-day protest, farmers handed out a total of 30,000 kilograms of vegetables to everyone who came to their campsite. People, most of them pensioners, were queuing to get heads of lettuce, tomatoes, beans or eggplant unloaded from the back of trucks. The protest was organised by the farmworkers union “Unión de Trabajadores de la Tierra” (UTT), which represents 14,000 small-scale farming families in 16 provinces of the country. The organisation advocates a law that would improve the situation of Argentina’s small-scale farmers. “This bill responds to the needs of hundreds of thousands of small producers who produce more than 60% of the food consumed in the country with 13% of the country’s arable land,” UTT said in statement. “Families that live off the land, on the land and for the land, but whose land does not belong to them. They are prisoners of expensive and speculative rents that eat up large parts of the fruit of their labour. If farmers do not own their land, this does not only mean having to pay a rent, it also means not being able to put down roots, not being able to make plans and having to live in precarious housing conditions.” [+] more ...

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