Migrating to agroecology, the fate of Río Cuarto

Migrating to agroecology, the fate of Río Cuarto

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By Leonardo Rossi

The Río Cuarto Sin Agrotoxicos Assembly proposes to eliminate agrochemicals from the urban ejido. This department is a leader in soybean production.

Proposing an agroecological city in a province and a country where most of the cultivated area is dedicated to transgenics is a great challenge. More interesting is the challenge if the place to be transformed is Río Cuarto, head of the department that leads the soybean planting in the province of Córdoba. Nothing prevents fighting, and this is understood by the Río Cuarto Sin Agrotoxicos Assembly, which has drafted a draft ordinance to migrate to agroecological models, that is, to reduce the use of inputs such as agrochemicals, fertilizers and industrial seeds. The proposal is promoted through a popular initiative and contemplates a comprehensive look, which not only prohibits spraying but also promotes a deep discussion on production, quality of life, and food sovereignty, among other points.

The city of Río Cuarto is a large mass of cement, located more than 200 kilometers south of Córdoba Capital. 155,000 inhabitants live there. It is the second city in population density in the province. However, this urban profile has a strong agrarian component. The homonymous department, of which the city is head, leads the soybean planting with 841,100 hectares in the last season, out of a total of 5,300,000 hectares planted in the province. According to data from the Nation, the department is also first when it comes to corn: 355,800 hectares of sowing on about two million dedicated to this grain in Córdoba. Both crops are carried out industrially, applying agrochemicals through.

This overwhelming picture is one of the reasons that led a group of neighbors, formed in the Río Cuarto Sin Agrotóxicos Assembly, to fight for another agriculture, which contemplates health, social relations, the bond with nature, “that we let us coexist ”. "We live in a city very traversed by the polluting and extractive production model", explains Nicolás Forlani (22). This Political Science student, and member of the assembly, contextualizes: “Río Cuarto is located in the Pampean region. Since the formation of the State, it has been strongly linked to the agro-export model, and the city is influenced by this income from the agricultural sector ”. In one sentence, the young man paints this city: "It is not in vain that it is a city that is characterized by a large number of closed neighborhoods, on the one hand, and strings of marginal neighborhoods, on the other."

A transit to another live

The draft ordinance aims to "go from a production linked to pesticides to an agro-ecological production, by 2020." Based on the work of the Network of Doctors of Fumigated Towns (FUNAM), the General Environmental Law, and the right to a healthy environment guaranteed by the Constitution, among other arguments, the initiative has a clear participatory vocation. In its first three articles, it creates and establishes as an application authority an Executive Committee for Agroecological Development (CEDA), of which municipal authorities, members of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology, representatives of the National University of Río Cuarto, the Market of Abasto and producers.

Article 5 marks the spirit of the project. Calls for "awareness, promotion and training" in the handling of agrochemicals to facilitate "a transition plan and agroecological reconversion", with the objective "of achieving an ejido free of said substances." CEDA must relieve all producers; will analyze in detail the type of production; what agrochemicals are used and in what quantity. Between the 8th and 14th article, the zones are defined in which fumigations will gradually be reduced, eliminating the use of products of the most harmful toxicological classes, and canceling the less controllable application modes, such as aerial ones in the first place, and the terrestrial ones, later. Article 13 prohibits the application of agrochemicals within 500 meters of each watercourse margin, an area that must reach 1000 meters from 2020. One hundred meters from "any type of home, school or populated space" is prohibited applying agrochemicals, and in the fifty meters following that protected area "only the application of toxicological class 4 and 5 phytosanitary products - the least aggressive according to the SENASA classification - is allowed with a backpack only".

Prevent a terrible future

"Mobilization is the only thing that makes the State take action for health," says Pablo Segretín (38). This is how the assembly understands it, that every Saturday in the main square collects signatures: it must gather about 7,000 to enter the project in the Deliberative Council. He also gives the debate with the neighbors, promotes the development of home gardens and thinks of another possible city. The man, with a deep voice, hopeful gaze and harsh gestures, argues the reason for this necessary discussion. “This model has been around for 15 years and we are already living the consequences. It is heard that one person is sick, that another has died, they begin to make maps of cancer. What it does that if we imagine ourselves ten or twenty years from now is terrible ”. For the assembly, the economic strength of the agro-industrial sector covers other more urgent aspects and that is the agenda they want to open. For example, surveys by the University Environment and Health Network that indicate that more than 30% of deaths in areas exposed to the indiscriminate use of pesticides are due to cancer cases, while the national average is less than 20%. “It is said that‘ we all live from this business ’, it is not seen that we also die from this business,” Segretín reflects.

Another possible city

The Río Cuarto Sin Agrotoxicos Assembly is a living example that another world or, at least for now, another city is possible. "The project is more than a productive issue, it implies a worldview of human relationships, a way of relating to the other, a rapprochement between consumers and producers", shares Nicolás Fornali, with remarkable sensitivity. Pablo Segretín completes the idea and calls for others to take root in this space: “The assembly is a very interesting place to work from the democratic content, the defense of values, the development of an idea of ​​society, we are talking about consciousness, a change in relationship with nature, a construction of power from below ”.


Video: Changing world of migration (June 2022).


  1. Vudojar

    Incidentally, this thought occurs right now

  2. Jenyd

    It agree, your idea simply excellent

  3. Addaneye

    Sorry that I am interrupting you, would like to propose another solution.

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