The extractive agroproductive model and the local process of agroecological resistance

date: December 30th, 2022

The development of the city of Rosario (Province of Santa Fe), central nucleus of the third largest metropolitan conglomerate in Argentina [1], as well as of the majority of the municipalities and communes that comprise it, has occurred since the second half of the 20th century around the extensive agricultural activity. Currently, around 80% of the national production of cereals, oils and their derivatives are exported through the ports of Rosario. Notwithstanding this, since the end of the 19th century and during a large part of the 20th century, a solid horticultural tradition was consolidated, fundamentally based on the knowledge and practices of Italian immigrants who, at first, were tenants and then owners of the land. 

Horticultural production in the region and in the city of Rosario in particular, has decreased drastically during the last fifty years, due to the crisis in the sector and the advance of commodity crops, mainly soybeans since the approval by the Government national transgenic soybean RR. Currently, in the city of Rosario, 50% of the workforce is local (more than 80% of the producers are over 70 years of age and their children have not continued with the activity), and the other 50% is of Bolivian origin ( Rosario Green Belt Program , 2022). Most land tenure contracts are informal, especially in the orchards cultivated by Bolivian immigrants.

There are two hub markets in Rosario, which sell a large volume of production destined for the city and a radius of approximately 200 km around. The production comes from other regions of Argentina: Provinces of Buenos Aires, Córdoba, Mendoza, Catamarca, Tucumán, Salta, Corrientes, Chaco and other areas of the Province of Santa Fe.

In this context, Agroecology in the city develops -since 1987 and without interruption-, promoted by sustained municipal public policies and the constitution of a Platform of diverse Actors, made up of organizations and institutions. These practices are progressively spreading to other locations in the Rosario Metropolitan Area.

[1] The Municipality of Rosario is the center of services for one of the most productive agricultural areas in the country. The city has an area of 178.69km², of which 120.37km² are urbanized. The AMR is made up of 24 localities, with an approximate extension of 1,768 km² and a population of 1,502,880 inhabitants (INDEC, 2022).

Overview Timeline of Rosario

1527    Spanish Occupation: livestock exploitation         

1816    Independence: access and distribution of productive land

1860    Liberal State: conformation of the agricultural export model

1880    Consolidation of the agroexport model

1930    Welfare State: Mechanization of production and socialization of the land, green revolution

1970    Neoliberal State: industralization of agriculture and "sojization" of the land

1987    Agroecological development in the City of Rosario

Original Populations

Before the Spanish invasion and occupation, the Argentinean Humid Pampa was inhabited by native human groups with different ways of using resources, from hunting, fishing or gathering by small groups of individuals who moved through extensive territories, and incipient farming activities in sedentary groups.

In the south of the province of Santa Fe, there was a complex web of different ethnic groups, with very different ways of life and social organization, in struggle for territory and power. These groups of querandis, mbeguás , caracaráes , chanás , timbúes and mepenes , were distributed in various sectors of the banks of the Paraná and the contiguous islands, all enemies of the guaraníes, who disputed their lands and had reached the lower Paraná region. very little before the Europeans. [2]

The surroundings of the area in which Villa del Rosario was later settled (mid-18th century), were initially inhabited by the Guaycurúes, an aboriginal group made up of Tobas, Abipones, Pilagás and Mocovíes. Their means of subsistence were hunting, fishing with nets and gathering.

The arrival of the Spanish implied the extinction or displacement of a large part of the original peoples, the disarticulation of the organization systems of the groups that survived, and the disappearance of numerous autochthonous languages.

Zwettler Codex. The life of the Guarani Indians seen by a Jesuit priest. Cook the lobsters. 18th century Austria. Stifs Library Zwettl.

Spanish Occupation: livestock farm

In 1492 the Spanish occupation of Latin America and the Caribbean began. Between 1515 and 1516 the first Spanish landing took place in the Río de la Plata, territory of the future Argentine Republic.

Although the process of Spanish colonization in Argentine territory began in 1535, the first European settlement in these lands was the Fort of Sancti Spíritu in 1527, located at the confluence of the Paraná and Carcarañá rivers, territory of what would be the current province of Santa Fe. This portion of territory was called "Pago de los Arroyos" because it is furrowed by numerous watercourses. The aforementioned settlement was destroyed a little more than two years later, by hostile indigenous people.

The Spanish introduced the widespread equine and cattle spontaneously to the Humid Pampas. This type of cattle constituted the main productive-economic source of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata until the middle of the 19th century. Farming activities were carried out to supply food nearby, given the difficulties for its development due to lack of labor and control of the territory. The aborigines integrated the hunting of cows and horses into their subsistence mechanisms and used the latter as a means of locomotion.

Initially, the Crown regulated the delivery of plots of land through "land grants", which had to be used for the subsistence of the residents. Throughout the 16th century, the crown granted land through the Audiencias and the “Cabildos”. The formation of large properties and the creation of "fiefs" were avoided, to protect the authority and interests of the monarchy in America. Despite this, many lands were illegally occupied at the expense of indigenous communities. At the end of the 16th century, a territorial reform was produced through which the American lands were reassigned and “composed”; The monarchy disposed of land without legal title, handing it over to the “Cabildos” or simply auctioning it off.

The first counts of farms, farms and cattle, had a tax purpose by the crown. The regularization of the property gave rise to the successive division and sale of the land. In the case of the grant on which the city of Rosario would be developed, within the “Pago de los Arroyos”, the modality of subdivision of the land was through narrow and deep markets, all facing the Paraná River. This modality demonstrates the importance of this river due to its conditions as a natural port. In 1689 the donation of the lot for the construction of the temple of the Virgin of Rosario takes place, which constitutes the "founding" act of Villa del Rosario.

According to city historians, in 1744 the first population count of the "Pago de los Arroyos" was prepared, registering 248 families dedicated to raising cattle as the main production and cultivating small orchards near the homes for self-consumption. In 1757, there were twenty-one farms in the village of Rosario in which, even though livestock were the main productive activity, they produced that year "nine hundred forty-five (945) bushels of wheat of 12 almudes each.

Fort Sancti Spiritu

Incorporation of the use of equine livestock in the subsistence modalities of the original peoples

Cattle breeding

First land grants in Pago de los Arroyos 

Land subdivision in the city of Rosario

First urban layout Rosario 

Independence: access and distribution of productive land

After the May Revolution in 1810, the first steps were taken towards Argentine Independence, which took place in 1816. The Government Junta affirmed the legitimacy of the occupation of the latifundia conquered from the Crown, and with this confirmed the social value assigned to The ownership of land.

In 1815, Santa Fe was declared an autonomous province of Argentina. As part of this, the city of Rosario receives the title of "Illustrious and faithful Villa del Rosario".

From 1820 to 1834 offensive military expeditions called desert campaigns began, aimed at progressively occupying indigenous territory, reaching the conquest of seven million hectares. Between 1833 and 1834 the campaign against the native peoples that inhabited the North of Patagonia and the pampas took place. One of the objectives was to occupy the land conquered for agriculture and livestock.

Land concentration was intensified in the province of Buenos Aires through the introduction of the Ley de Enfiteusis in 1826 (long-term land leases). The system ended in 1857 and the subsequent reform encouraged the formation of large estates.

Liberal State: conformation of the agricultural export model

In 1853 the National Constitution ordered the formation of the National Treasury that allowed the sale and lease of nationally owned land. This gave rise, starting in 1855, to the establishment of agricultural colonies (nuclei for the establishment of farmers, especially europeans, on private or public land, delimited and previously divided, which were delivered for sale in installments). These colonies constituted an alternative modality to the latifundio and, in parallel, contributed to the population policies of the Argentine State. 

The colonies were being formed on large areas previously dedicated to extensive cattle ranching, or seized from independent indigenous tribes, through a persistent advance over the borders. This process of conquest transformed the vast and fertile Pampean plain with a temperate climate, located in the center of the country, into a modern “food factory”.

Towards 1895, the area cultivated with wheat in Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Córdoba had increased at least 39 times with respect to its situation four decades earlier. Argentina went from being a net importer of cereals and flour to becoming one of the world's largest exporters of these products in just under three decades. This evolution had a main motor in the formation of agricultural colonies, essentially with immigrants. (J. Djenderedjian , 2007).

The process of agricultural colonization in the province of Santa Fe began with the founding of Esperanza in 1856 and continued until the end of the century. The colonies were first established in the central area of the province, then on the coastal area and, several decades later, in the northern territories incorporated during the Northern campaign into the desert at the end of the 19th century, contemporary to the one that ended to form the southern border in Patagonian territory.

The fluvial exit of the agricultural production for its export, demanded the existence of suitable ports.

Within the framework of the internal struggles that occurred after the Independence of Argentina, the governor of Buenos Aires had prevented the entry of foreign ships to the port of Rosario in 1841. The port activity of Rosario would only be reactivated in 1851, restarting the export of products primaries [3]

The role of trade and services, together with demographic growth, led to the fact that, by law, in 1952, Rosario was declared a city.

In 1853, the first records of horticultural and agricultural activity take place in Rosario, the latter increasing based on crop rotation. In 1878 the first shipment of wheat to England from the Rosario port was made. This port infrastructure and a few years later (1886), the construction of the Rosario-Buenos Aires railway, make Rosario a city in expansion.

Agro -export model depended on two substantial aspects for its implementation:

  • The export of products from the Pampas countryside, for whose production access to land was necessary, whose distribution ended after the successive Desert Campaigns (occupation by violent force and the extermination of the lands owned and controlled by the original peoples) . In a first stage and until 1875, sheep were exported. Shortly after, agricultural exports began, stable until 1900. At the end of the 19th century, the export of live cattle was replaced by cuts of frozen meat, first, and then chilled meat, made possible by the installation of large refrigerators.

  • The inflow of capital to finance infrastructure works (ports, public services, railways), essential in a country of great geographical extension, province of England, within the framework of the international expansion of British capital or loans obtained by the National State . This inflow of capital also meant the entry of British companies in different fields.

Plan City of Rosario, 1958.

Port of Rosario, 1875.

First shipment of wheat from Puerto Rosario, 1878

Port of Rosario, 1880

Rosario Central Station, 1910

[3] The exploitation of the pampean area is linked to the foreign trade of the port of Buenos Aires, the hides and beef jerky (sun-dried meat maintained with salt, the main food of the slaves of Brazil), becoming the main export products. The "saladero" was the most developed industry of the time. (Retrieved in November 2022)

Consolidation of the agroexport model

In 1880 Argentina was formed as a Nation-State, since, since 1816 (Argentine Independence), the territory was divided and in continuous internal struggles between the peoples of the interior ( federal warlords ) and Buenos Aires, representing the unitaries , who defended the interests of this province. For the first time, the ruling class designs and implements a Country Project, awarded to the so-called "Generation of 80". The restoration of Order was considered fundamental, in order to ensure the capitalist economic-social system at the national level. Based on the new international division of labor, Argentina's accumulation model, like that of all of Latin America, has been the agro-exporter.

The need to form a State led to the urgency of having settlers, which is why immigration was encouraged. Around 1855, in line with the project for the country, from the State, agricultural colonies were installed (nuclei for the establishment of farmers, especially Europeans, on private or public lands, previously delimited and parceled, and which were delivered to them for sale in installments in the Humid PampaSanta Fe being a paradigmatic case for the success of this type of colonization.

In addition, with the objective that Argentina also conforms as a nation, Law 1420 (Compulsory, secular and free education) was sanctioned, that is, Education as a unifying element to create a feeling of belonging.

Between 1860 and 1930, the Argentine economy was based on foreign trade and consolidated its profile as an agro-exporting country. In 1880, Rosario was the first exporting port of Argentina, establishing, in 1884, the navigation lines with Europe. Consequently, cereal production increases and horticultural production decreases in the Rosario region. However, Horticulture constituted the third productive activity in 1890, with potatoes being the main crop, an activity that later moved and developed in the South of the Province of Bs As and Córdoba for having better climatic conditions for its production and conservation. Since 1900, horticulture has expanded based on the labor of immigrants as tenants in the Rosario region. Vegetable production was sustained until the 1970s, consolidating the Green Belt of the Rosarito Metropolitan Area.

The effects of the 1930's crisis were devastating for the tenants and small owners. The drop in grain prices led to the bankruptcy of thousands of farms, less affecting livestock production, which generally occupied a larger area. This situation resulted in large migrations between 1929 and 1935 as a result of the expulsion of tenants and the large losses of agricultural properties (F. Primo, 2022).

During 1912, in the South of the Province of Santa Fe and as a reaction to this situation, a historic protest of farmers took place that involved a large farmer strike known as “El Grito de Alcorta”. The so-called “Grito de Alcorta” put on the agenda the situation of dependency of small producers in the face of a strongly monopolistic land structure, at the same time that it was the initial kick for the creation of the Argentine Agrarian Federation. The new regulation ordered a minimum duration of four years for the contracts and compensation was set for the improvements that the tenants introduced to the field.

The Argentine Constitution of 1853 promoted European immigration, removing barriers to the arrival of foreigners.

Alcorta's scream

The march of the growers 

Grito de Alcorta

Welfare State: Mechanization of production and socialization of the land, green revolution

The so-called "Crisis of the 1930s" forced Western countries to establish a new relationship between State and society. The liberal State demonstrated its vulnerability unleashed by the fall of the Wall Street Stock Market (poverty, unemployment and, fundamentally, the questioning of the capitalist system). the welfare State began to intervene in the economy of nations, with significant investments in social policies.

In Argentina, between 1930 and 1975, the so-called Import Substitution Industrialization process was implemented, promoting the diverse national industry, despite which, it did not reach a degree of consolidation capable of taking away the prominence of the agro-export model, which deepened from the Second World War.

The agrarian policies of the first Peronist governments were aimed at small and medium producers. This social segment, along with that of rural tenants, experienced significant growth during the Justicialist decade. The result was an extensive network of agrarian families that lived on mixed farms, an expression of access to land and social advancement during the 40's . The Peronist agrarian policy sustains a critical discourse of latifundismo. The expression "The land should not be an income asset but a work asset" ordered a reform project that proposes to expropriate the unproductive lands of a latifundio to grant them to those agricultural actors linked to production: "the workers of the countryside". The state bought and expropriated land in order to promote access for renters and small producers.  

In the province of Santa Fe, as a result of the policies for the protection of agrarian bases, a stratum of " farmers " is formed that is in a position to sustain land ownership. This is confirmed in the growth in the volume of owners, which goes from 34.3% to 52.6%, while a notable reduction in the number of rural tenants is observed, which goes from 44.7% to 21.6%. (F. Cousin, 2022)

Around 50,000 new farms were mixed farms, where livestock and agricultural practices alternated. This form of production existed prior to the soybeanization of agriculture – and still resists – characterized by neither being a smallholding nor a ranch, by having their families living and directing the production. This gave rise to an associative network among producers that in the 1940s gave rise to 1,278 agricultural production cooperatives. In the south of the province, this growth of the farm-owning family came to represent between 75% and 80% of the forms of tenure in a period of 30 years (1947-1974). In particular, there is a growth of the owner stratum that goes from 50 to 80 ha in the corn core area.

The planning of the process of colonization of the Pampa Húmeda Santa Fe, developed from 1850, carried out first by immigrants of Swiss-German origin, and later influenced by the policies of access to land during the Peronist government (1946-1955), defined a parceling of the land of smaller surface than in other Argentine provinces.

In 1950 the so-called Green Revolution took place, driven by the restructuring of the chemical industry, which stopped producing chemical weapons to reorient itself towards agriculture and its inputs. Within the framework of this process, during this decade, the State promotes a technology transfer model based on the premise of promoting increased yield, genetic improvement, mechanization of labor and the use of chemical inputs. In this context and to fulfill these objectives, the National Institute of Agricultural Technologies (INTA) was created in 1956.

The numerous military governments that succeeded one another after the civic-military interruption of 1955, outlawed the Peronist party, which only regained power in 1974 but, again, a civic-military coup was installed in 1976. Democracy was reestablished in 1983.

Division of the soil in the South of the Province of Santa Fe.

Neoliberal State: industralization of agriculture and "sojization" of the land

During the last Argentine dictatorship (1976-1983), a new neoliberal economic-social model was implemented, whose policies dismantled the national industry, promoting unregulated access for transnational companies. Since then, but mainly from the 1990s to the present, there has been a process of economic opening linked to the financial sector and transnational companies. Complementarily, the extractivist logic is deepened through the overexploitation of the soil and the destruction of natural resources (goods) to produce and export commodities .

One of the inseparable phenomena of the changes that have occurred worldwide, and incident in the transformation of the Argentine agricultural sector, was the so-called Biotechnological Revolution, which made possible the genetic modification of organisms, developing early in our country (Bisang et al, 2008).

From In 1996, with the legally approved implementation of the first transgenic event in Argentina for the cultivation of Soybeans resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (Soja RR), an accelerated and growing process of " soybeanization " was unleashedcharacterized by monoculture masked by power groups to a supposed progress, since the use of agrochemicals was reduced to just one. Promoted by the Association of Direct Sowing Producers (APRESID) which proposed as an agronomic advantage avoiding plowing the soil "preventing" its degradation and erosion. The advantages of these agrochemicals were widely disseminated, making invisible their cumulative harmfulness and the progressive loss of their productive effects on weeds. This technological package had a rapid adoption by producers as a result of the promotion carried out, the high international prices of the grain and the simplification in its management. Universities and technological institutes also acted as great disseminators of this model.

The result of this technology - thirty years after its implementation - has been the contamination and degradation of common goods (climate, water, soil, air, seeds), damage to animal and plant species, deforestation, and multiple and serious consequences for human health (chronic diseases, cancer, teratogenesis among others), which gave rise to the movement "Pueblos Fumigados".

Another consequence was the concentration of land and the disappearance of numerous small rural producers. In thirty years, 41 % of farms have disappeared and the concentration of land in a few hands has increased: 1 % of farms control 36 % of the land, while 55 % of farms (the smallest) have only 2 % of the land (National Agricultural Census, 2018).

During the Rio de Janeiro Summit in 1992, multilateral organizations warned about this phenomenon through the Bruntland report (1987). The term sustainability is introduced, although without clearly expressing the causes of the indicated unsustainability, thus allowing the continuity of highly harmful practices for the environment and the health of the populations.

As in other regions of the country, in Rosario and its region, a serious consequence of soybean production was the drastic decrease in area and number of producers dedicated to agricultural food production -intensive (horticultural) and extensive- and other types of production -livestock, dairy farms and breeding of other animals-only maintaining the production of commodities such as corn, wheat, sorghum and sunflower to a lesser extent. Between 1994 and 2008, the 'number of horticultural producers fell by 34 % . Between 2008 and 2021, an increase of 12.5% was registered (2021 Horticultural Census of the Rosario Horticultural Belt [4]).

In contrast to this model, Agroecology -as a science and as a practice- proposes environmentally efficient productive, social and economic alternatives, based on a holistic paradigm based on which inclusive and equitable modalities of production, added value, control and control are designed and implemented. quality and marketing.

[4] The departments surveyed are Rosario, Constitución, San Lorenzo and a producer from San Jerónimo. (INTA Santa FE Regional Center. Agricultural Experimental Station), Arroyo Seco, 2021

Agroecological development in the City of Rosario

Agroecology emerges as a new approach and paradigm of agricultural sciences that aims to provide strategies and criteria for the design, evaluation and management of sustainable agroecosystems . It arises in different institutions and organizations, as a reaction to the increasingly evident consequences of an environmentally unsustainable and socially exclusive model, derived from the productivist philosophy of the Green Revolution. Due to its multidisciplinary and multi- epistemological nature , as a scientific approach, as a movement and as a series of strategies and techniques, its incorporation and consolidation in Argentina recognizes different objectives, actors and stages. Among the institutions we can mention non-governmental organizations, state institutions and universities and agricultural teaching institutions (S. Sarandón and M. Marasas , 2015).

In Rosario, as a response to the socio - economic crisis of 1989, a process of agroecological development began, promoted by Non-Governmental Organizations and specific government initiatives. The Rosario Agroecological Center (CEPAR) began these experiences together with residents of vulnerable areas. The first agroecological gardens are created in Rosario under the coordination of the NGO CEPAR.

Through the National Institute of Agricultural Technologies (INTA), Family Farming has been promoted and promoted for years. This is a productive model of great importance for the country, since it represents 66% of the families that live in the countryside and 250,000 productive establishments that involve 2,000,000 people, which is equivalent to approximately 5% of the total population. total population of the country (National Agricultural Census, 2002). Although, in terms of production system, the conventional model based on the use of chemical inputs continues to predominate, throughout the country there are numerous experiences of agroecological family farming that act as reference centers for other producers. In 1991, the Food Safety Program of the National Institute of Food Technologies (Pro Huerta INTA) was created. First experience PROHUERTA is carried out in Rosario and the first experiences of community gardens take place in Rosario promoted by CEPAR with the support of INTA.

In 1995, the Department of Vegetable Gardens of the Municipality was created, beginning support for family horticultural production through public policies. The experiences developed by CEPAR throughout the 1990s formed the basis on which the agroecological strategies of state support for the population were devised during the 2001-2003 crisis.

In 2002, the Urban Agriculture Program (PAU) was created, made up of various members of CEPAR. Intense work was carried out to organize orchards and provide technical support to vulnerable families and neighbors in need of access to food. As a palliative to serious unemployment and poverty, the municipality gave economic subsidies to the unemployed. As a control device, the beneficiaries provided labor in sewing rooms, neighborhood gardens and other assistance centers. One of the activities that developed the most as compensation was work in neighborhood gardens, most of which were installed on vacant land that was accessed by "peaceful usurpation [5]. "

In crises, institutional structures shift, giving rise to the emergence of "the new." The 2001 crisis was one of the deepest in Argentina, there were moments of great social mobilization and the search for new ideas that could be implemented and offered alternatives to the poverty that affected large percentages of the population. The production of vegetable food with ecological techniques is a practical proposal that can be implemented in a simple way, respecting the times of the protagonists and offering relatively fast results. For its implementation, the land to produce, hand tools, work capacity and, above all, enthusiasm are necessary.

The promoting team had a lot of practical experience in the technical and social spheres. And the conviction that the proposal for the production of agroecological vegetables was the most appropriate for that moment. Since it is not dependent on inputs and it adapts to people accustomed to solving problems with few material resources, but with the ability to inventively replace the scarcity.


Challenges and difficulties

Convince political decision-makers of the feasibility of the proposal

Excite the unemployed

Obtain inputs (seeds and tools)

Search idle land

Design strategies for the implementation of vegetable gardens.

Build productive spaces in the territory with the actors of each place

Validate, legitimize the proposals through their practical implementation in the territory

Institutionalize the socialized and legitimized actions in practice.

Communicate each neighborhood achievement, socialize it to take it to the scale of the entire city and generate the conditions for the birth of a local agroecological movement

Antonio Lattuca

Since then and without interruption, agroecological development has been maintained as a public policy in the Municipality of Rosario. Since then, a process of alliances and collaborative networks has been generated with different local, national and international actors, with Agroecology as a premise and guide.

“Agroecological practices were emerging in the territory in response to specific needs, dialoguing with reality to solve problems. They were always put to the test before being implemented and those practices that produced good results were socialized, legitimized and subsequently legalized.

It can be affirmed that many of the agroecological experiences that have been taking place in Rosario were born from the dialogue between orchard growers, farmers and technicians " at the foot of the furrow", rescuing peasant practices in tune with more innovative compatible practices. In general, they were born in the most difficult moments that had to be experienced.

Crises are painful, but during them the processes accelerate and the rigid and bureaucratic structures of the state and institutions move, generating cracks through which it is possible to insert new alternatives or, even, what comes in contrary direction, the against hegemonic.

The process of urban agriculture has been winding, non-linear, respectful of culture and in response to the need to obtain quick results in the face of the urgency of producing food to alleviate hunger during crises. Likewise, it is worth mentioning that crises are opening moments in which it is possible to validate agroecological practices and their protagonists before society to create favorable political conditions.

All the practices were built with the methodology of "to learn by doing and to work by learning" simple and low-cost or zero-cost techniques, using available resources. An example is the incorporation of horse manure into the soil (a peasant practice) and later leaves from the sweeping and pruning of urban trees and the rumen from the refrigerator. This practice arises from the need to produce on degraded soils and is a quick way to improve the land by providing organic matter to produce good quality vegetables.

The different agroecological spatial typologies were also born from this dialogue with and in the territory. A good example to illustrate the emergence of different types of productive spaces is Parques Huerta (PH). The first PH is created due to the need to produce vegetables for a community kitchen without space for a garden, located in an irregular settlement. Adjacent to the dining room, there was a municipally owned land, planned for a future public park. The idea of combining productive and recreational uses through the Parque Huerta typology was then proposed. This proposal was based on the background of Parques Huerta in other cities such as Amsterdam and Seville”. 

During 2003, the first agroecological vegetable trade fair was inaugurated in a public space in Rosario. The agroecological fairs were implemented in different neighborhoods of the city, during different days of the week, forming areas not only for sales but also for exchange and socialization.

The regulatory framework that enables access and secure land tenure is designed and managed.

Also during 2003, the first of many Research-Action Projects based in the PAU was implemented, financed by an International Organization, entitled Optimization of the use of vacant land for the AU in Rosario . Dependencies of the Municipality of Rosario, CEPAR, CEAH -FAPyD - UNR participated, and it was coordinated by the United Nations Urban Management Program (Quito, Ecuador). Within the framework of this Project, the Parque-Huerta typology is incorporated into the list of municipal Urban Green spaces by the Master Plan of the Planning Secretariat.

Starting in 2004, the processes of participatory design of multifunctional agroecological spaces began (International Project Building Productive Neighborhoods 2004-2006). The first experiences of putting into production these productive spaces are implemented.

Agroecological development continues without interruption and the City of Rosario is internationally recognized twice with two important awards in 2005. Marketing alternatives through short chains are diversified and increased.

In 2011, phytosanitary protection areas were regulated between agro -productive areas in which agrochemicals are applied and urbanized areas (Ord 8871/11).

In 2013, the first agroecological demonstration module was created in the peri-urban area (Quinta Martini -Tolabas ) located in the non-urban area of Rosario. An experience is carried out in 1 ha of surface, in order to demonstrate the possibility of producing in an agroecological way in the peri-urban. As an important result of this process framed in municipal public policies, the protection of eight hundred peri-urban hectares destined for fruit and vegetable production, regulated by municipal regulations in 2013, was achieved.

In 2014, the Inter-Institutional Board of Agroecology (MILPA) was created, made up of the Municipality of Soldini, the Undersecretary of Family Agriculture of the Nation, and INTA Pro Huerta. Work is being carried out in an integrated way with the remaining farms of what had been in the Green Belt of Rosario, where there were five productive modules demonstrating the Agroecological Transition.

In 2015, the activities of the Rosario Green Belt Project began, complementary to the PAU. This project expands the notion of agroecological production to the peri-urban. Eight productive modules demonstrating the agroecological transition are generated. During 2016, the Agreement Act was signed between partner actors and the Municipality of Rosario, in support of the Rosario Green Belt.

In 2017, the Mercado del Patio was inaugurated, a space for direct marketing from the producer to the consumer that integrates various items. There is an agroecological greengrocery that is supplied by producers from farms in Rosario and Soldini. New complementary fairs are also installed to those initially created by the PAU in which part of the agroecological production of the peri-urban area of Rosario is marketed.

During the same year, the Peri-Urban Sustainable Production Program was created as a device of the Ministry of the Province of Santa Fe, in support of agroecological production systems.

In 2017, the Provincial Program for Sustainable Food Production in the Peri-Urban was created, of the Ministry of Production of Santa Fe, which was a necessary and relevant initiative that unfortunately was discontinued at the end of 2019 with the change of provincial government.

During 2018, the surface and type of productive surface of the city of Rosario was surveyed with the following results: Total productive surface: 1,369 ha (244 Intensive -horticultural- and 1,125 extensive); Conventional Horticultural surface: 155 ha; Agroecological and in Agroecological Transition surface: 89 ha.

In 2020, Argentine government created the National Directorate of Agroecology, whose objective is to promote agroecology as a comprehensive approach for the development of sustainable, resilient and inclusive food and agricultural systems, although a comprehensive and decisive strategy is not proposed to establish a new national agroecological productive model, which translates into strategies in order to strengthen the levels of Food Security. Currently there are more than one hundred municipalities and communes attached to the Network of Municipalities that promote Agroecology, coordinated by the National Directorate of Agroecology and the National Network of Agroecological Municipalities (RENAMA).

In 2020, the PCV is ranked as the Peri-Urban Green Belt Program. Sustainable Food Production. Likewise, the Comprehensive Land and Productive Investment Plan (Ord. 10139/2020) was approved, after strong resistance to protect 720ha of regulated fruit and vegetable land in 2013. It should be noted that 80ha of the area had been transformed to industrial land shortly before. The Ordinance that regulates the figure of Agrarian Park (Ord.10142/20) is also sanctioned.

In response to the consequences of climate change -at a global, regional and local scale-, the municipality of Rosario created the first Rosario Climate Action Plan in 2020. Municipal agroecological policies constitute a concrete action against climate change, since the practices Agroecological measures are highly effective for mitigating the causes and adapting to the consequences of global warming (RUAF, 2015).

First agroecological gardens of Rosario 

Antonio Lattuca, Lucho Lemos y la Coordinadora de laHuerta del Jardín Maternal del Barrio las Flores – 1993

[5] Denomination assigned by the orchard growers themselves to the form of access and use of vacant land with prior notice and agreement with the owners.

Management of the Urban Agriculture Program (PAU)

From the PAU, technical assistance tasks are carried out for the orchard growers, training and education courses are given for producers and other actors; and meetings are organized for the continuous dissemination of the scope of the Program. One very important aspect to mention is that, since its inception, the PAU has been developing Research-Action and Technological Linkage projects, together with university centers, with the support of national agencies and international funding organizations.

From the integrated management of the Urban Agriculture Program with other municipal agencies, the Group Gardens were created and consolidated. and the Parques-Huerta , which allow the development of an urban-territorial administration of non-constructible spaces (former garbage dumps, low land, sides of highways or railways).

These spaces are valued for productive and social inclusion purposes, on public, institutional or even private land, ceded through agreements in which the PAU intervenes as guarantor. In this way, access and secure land tenure are allowed, generating more stable conditions for producers. There are currently eight Parks-Herta in operation in different areas of the city.

Other agroecological spatial typologies were created, such as: Linear Orchards on the railway laterals ; Demonstrative Gardens in public spaces , Healthy Gardens in health centers, Educational Gardens in schools and Home Gardens, developed in patios, balconies and terraces by its inhabitants.

Agroecological Agroindustries were installed in which value was added to vegetables and aromatic plants for the production of cosmetic services.

Within the framework of the Urban Agriculture Program , the Rosario Agroecological Center was created as a reference center and municipal consultation. The CAR synthesizes what has been built in the territory with the participation of gardeners, technicians and volunteers. His organization has "spaces specialized in the production of biopreparations , production of compound fertilizers, garden of aromatic and medicinal mother plants, demonstration beds of seasonal vegetable crops, production of vegetable seedlings, spaces for the selection of free pollination seeds , and the development of the Ñanderoga Seed Bank.

Huerta El Bosque Park

Huerta La Tablada Park

First Agroecological Fairs in public spaces

Management of the Green Belt Program for the Production of Healthy Food in the Municipality of Rosario (PCVR)

The Green Belt Program constitutes another step in the consolidation of agroecology as a public policy in the city. It articulates with government actors, technical institutions and civil society. Its purpose is to respond to the growing concern related to food quality and safety, as well as to favor the relationship of the city with its environment, prioritizing food production in the city.

The goal of the PCVR is to contribute to the agroecological reconversion of the productive areas of the peri-urban area of Rosario located in the Non-Urbanizable Areas (Zone IV).

The PCVR constitutes a public policy device linked to guaranteeing the right to food without negative consequences on human health. This Program assumes a central role in sustaining and promoting horticultural and extensive agroecological production in the Metropolitan Area.

The PCVR interacts in an articulated way between different Secretariats and municipal Dependencies. From this integration, a technical team has been formed that designs the proposals to advance in the productive reconversion. It also articulates with the policies designed by the Sustainability Cabinet. Municipal.

The methodology for the implementation of the tasks in charge of the PCVR is based on group and individual participatory technical accompaniment to producers, the management of incentives for agroecological reconversion processes, quality monitoring of processes and products. We work on four axes: Productive, Social, Commercial and Organizational :

  • Productive Axis:

At the productive level, technical support is carried out at the group and individual level for each producer with participatory methodologies to achieve the change in attitude sought. Infrastructure and incentives are provided to producers, in support of the agroecological transition.


  • Marketing Axis:

Direct alternative marketing circuits have been generated. They are marketed in a differentiated way and identified with the "Products from my land" quality seal. Different short, close-range marketing channels have been established .

Some experiments have been carried out in restaurants and greengrocers.


  • Social Axis:

It has contributed to the strengthening of links between producers, and tried to improve their quality of life. Possible solutions to needs in housing, health and roads have been managed.


  • Organizational Axis:

Work is being done on the group integration of producers in order to strengthen their capacities, their bargaining power and political advocacy. In this sense, progress has been made to achieve the constitution of a Cooperative process.

Work has been done with the Producer Concentration Market, promoting the production and consumption of healthy food, through courses for greengrocers and talks to producers.

Landscape of productive soils of the peri-urban CVR (APPA Food Protection Area)

Agroecological Producer of the Green Belt of Rosario

“Suelo Común” Agroecological Vegetable Store, Patio Market

Green Belt BioFair 

International recognition

Rosario's experience is a benchmark at a national and international level, as the agroecological development that has taken place in the city, driven by municipal public policies sustained for twenty years and fertilized through the progressive construction of a platform of diverse actors, becomes relevant. . This process has had important international recognitions:

  • INTERNATIONAL DUBAI AWARD OF THE UNITED NATIONS 2005, TO THE TEN BEST URBAN PRACTICES INTENDED TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF ITS POPULATORS , for which the management of the Urban Agriculture Program (PAU) of the Municipality of Rosario is valued.


  • AWARD FOR THE BEST RESILIENT AND INCLUSIVE CITY 2020-2021 , granted by the ROSS CENTER INSTITUTE OF WORLD RESOURCES , for a municipal project that "improves resilience and equity through urban and peri-urban agriculture" for which the Program of Urban Agriculture and the Green Belt Project of the Municipality of Rosario.

  • AWARD of the 8th GLOBAL FORUM OF THE MILAN URBAN FOOD POLICY AGREEMENT 2022 , awarded to the Municipality of Rosario for its "Sustainable Food Production for a Resilient Rosario ", for the Urban Agriculture and Green Belt Programs.


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