“Planters on Caracas balconies are not going to solve the growing problem of hunger in Venezuela,” said opposition lawmaker Maria Martinez, who sits on the National Assembly’s agricultural commission
By Andrew Rosati, Fabiola Zerpa
September 22, 2016
Critics are quick to point to more than a decade’s worth of expropriations that left fields to fallow while a flood of cheap imports during Venezuela’s oil bonanza discouraged farming entirely. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Land, almost 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) were nationalized from 2010 to 2015 alone.
Further complicating Maduro’s hopes of turning Venezuela’s cities green is that the country’s tight price and currency controls have made many critical inputs — like fertilizers, pesticides and replacement parts — either too expensive or simply unavailable.
“They’re going to face exactly the same problems we do,”said Pedro Vicente Perez, director of FEDEAGRO. “It’s quaint idea, but it’s certainly not going to feed the country.”
Mayor Lisa Helps said she overlooked the impact the language could have, adding there shouldn’t be a constant dichotomy between farmers and developers, but instead they need to work together to encourage food production in the city.
By Kendra Wong
Sep 21, 2016
Local urban farmers are rejoicing about the ability to grow and sell their own food, after Victoria city council recently passed a number of bylaw changes allowing them to do so.
“I’m happy to see it happen, I think it’s a totally necessary step and something that the community of Victoria was really asking for,” said Julia Ford, an urban farmer with City Harvest and Welland Legacy Orchard.
Council recently passed a number of bylaw changes that would expand the range of potential sites for new urban food production businesses to include commercial areas, vacant lots, residential properties, rooftops, institutional properties and other underused sites.
Those wanting to sell food, however, are required to obtain a business licence for offsite sales (such as retail locations and restaurants) and on-site sales (such as food stands and farm box pick-up locations). A year-long licence would cost $100 while a three-month licence is $25. The change eliminates the need for a development permit.