Venezuela: Land reform, food sovereignty and agroecology

By Alan Broughton
Socialist Voice

Alan Broughton is an Australian farmer engaged in developing and teaching techniques of sustainable organic agriculture. He is a member of the Socialist Alliance1 and lives in rural Victoria (Australia).

A massive transformation of agriculture is occurring in Venezuela, a transformation that has lessons for every other country in the world. The Law of the Land and Agrarian Development, the Law of Food Sovereignty and Security and the Law of Integrated Agricultural Health set out the agenda (they can be found on www.mat.gob.ve2, in Spanish). The policies are based on the premises that farmers should have control of their land and product, that the country should produce its own food, and that chemical fertilisers and pesticides should not be part of agriculture.

Land in Venezuela has been in the hands of about 500 families and corporations since the 1800s and worked by an impoverished peasantry. Much of the land was underutilised as cattle ranching, pulpwood plantations, export crops such as sugar cane, or left idle. Most food was imported. This land is gradually being taken over by the government and handed to local communities who have been fighting for it for two centuries.

Related reading
Venezuela Responds to World Food Crisis
The Food Sovereignty Movement in Venezuela

Food sovereignty is a key government policy, guaranteed in the constitution: “Food sovereignty is the inalienable right of a nation to define and develop priorities and foods appropriate to its specific conditions, in local and national production, conserving agricultural and cultural diversity and self sufficiency and guaranteeing food supply to all the population.” Food imports are only allowed if there is a shortfall of production in the country, and exports occur only after domestic demand is met.

Read full post at Socialist Voicenal of Socialist Renewal5]

4 responses to “Venezuela: Land reform, food sovereignty and agroecology

  1. Hi Alan and Rady, good article:-)
    I am a lot more worried re the loss of farmers right to farm their own land without the seriously harmful ecolaws being misused aka Kyoto and the landclearing, along with the gillard green danger!
    the greens arent supposed to support GM but Labor sure IS!
    the WA fiasco and Vic last year and qld also..Radys info on the GM Bananas being grown here(Qld) is horrific!
    Vic govt under Burke funded DOW! to a research centre and a lot of money to assist? them to ruin our food.
    Redman in WA is doing the same and allowing taxpayer funded seed stocks to be abused by a Monsanto Buyin to the grain and govt board… insanity. on a large scale.
    woolies and coles set their price and rip the consumer off as well as the producer, the reserve bank happens to have a WAL<MART affiliate on oits board…so now we know why Walmart! is getting favorable appro to move inand finish killing Aus industry.
    I,m in Vic and will suss your weblink I believe in organic permie ag! producer to negotiate the cost and price and sell if possible direct.

  2. right on, Oz…

    and I’m all for land redistribution. ’bout time we leveled the playing field

  3. Pingback: Free the land, free the slaves: Chavez seizes land of British food giant | COTO Report

  4. Pingback: TRANSFORMING VENEZUELAN AGRICULTURE – the ultimate goal is food sovereignty « Antidote

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