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Home Actions and projects Projects Beekeeping and breeding in the north of Argentina ...

Beekeeping and breeding in the north of Argentina ...

Families of small farmers in San Martin, Posta Cambio Salazar and Fortin Lugones have formed an association in order to achieve basic food safety. Breeding and beekeeping are being developed by ensuring diversity that is technically possible, economically viable, ecologically sustainable and socially fair, with very competent and committed leaders despite difficult climatic conditions.

Argentina is a country experiencing economic development by favouring single-crop farming for exports, such as cotton and genetically-modified soya on large expanses with significant and debatable means including the use of large-scale pesticides. Moreover, this method of farming significantly diminishes the quality of the soil …

Families of small farmers and indigenous people, the Pilagas, live in the north of the country, in the Formosa Province, near the border with Paraguay, in San Martin, Posta Cambio Salazar and Fortin Lugones.

80% are in breach of regulations, occupying land without authorisation, and the Pilaga communities manage community properties, which is a real problem …!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The climate is harsh with large periods of drought, and water with the creation of reserves is an essential issue. Only 50% of the population has access to drinking water at home. 

17 reserves were dug in 2013.

 

Furthermore, the Argentinean social policy provides financial aid to mothers of 7 children, which has severe repercussions on the life of women who are encouraged to live on this financial aid with a very high number of children. 

The families of San Martin, Posta Cambio Salazar and Fortin Lugones (496) formed an association several years ago, EDUPOSAN, with competent and very committed leaders despite the difficult conditions: their wages remain insufficient to provide for a whole family.

This association meets with the requirements of the Popular Education policy (participatory methodology, community delegates and key women,…) and it takes part in the committees managing sector-based policies: it liaises with the Production Ministry …

The association is currently working on 2 strategies:

1. Diversifying resources of small farms as a reaction to single-crop farming. Beekeeping and breeding are being developed, due to observations that these 2 activities are in line with the Indian traditions of the Pilagas.

2. Continuing work to encourage more extensive participation of women in the development of the region, with recognised status.

1.1.Beekeeping.

 

20kg of honey were collected per hive in 2012.

This could have been 43kg out of a total of 340 hives in 2013, but the drought, followed by cold weather affected flowering, and 160 hives were lost.

 

 

100 new hives will be built in 2014 with 10 new beekeepers.

The production of honey is certified and recognised by fair trading. The cooperation exports it to Germany, and EDUPOSAN is seeking new outlets.
Cost: €13 050.40

 

2.2 Breeding and forage crops

There are plans to grow and harvest 20ha of sorghum and 20ha of corn in 2014, working with 20 producers. They will both be planted in February to be harvested and packed in May.

Workshops have been organised in order to improve the quality of the forage crops and to learn about the nutritional requirements of the animals depending on their age and the seasons.
Cost: €32,481.15 including maintenance of water reserves and a new hydraulic blade.

 

2.3  Positive discrimination of women.

 

We have witnessed a good example of the Dona Leña farm which has improved the production of the forage crops and their conservation so that the cows give milk throughout the year ….
Cost: €775

In order to achieve more reliable food safety, and to monitor the 2 sectors currently being developed (breeding and beekeeping), it is appropriate to ensure the diversity of the production, which is technically possible, economically viable, ecologically sustainable and socially fair.

 

In order to assist this project, we must support the wages of the agricultural engineer, honey production manager and one woman in charge of coordinating the activities enabling women to have a role in the family and in local activity.
Cost: €37 500


This land has been described by our Pope Francis: "In imitation of Christ, our Master, we Christians are called to confront the poverty of our brothers and sisters, to touch it, to make it our own and to take practical steps to alleviate it. Destitution is not the same as poverty: destitution is poverty without faith, without support, without hope... Material destitution is what is normally called poverty, and affects those living in conditions opposed to human dignity: those who lack basic rights and needs such as food, water, hygiene, work and the opportunity to develop and grow culturally. In response to this destitution, the Church offers her help, her diakonia, in meeting these needs and binding these wounds which disfigure the face of humanity."