Argentina's Union of Land Workers (UTT) Monday began a 48-hour protest in front of the National Congress building demanding lawmakers pass the Access to Land bill.
UTT sources announced a large array of activities will be performed at the stands mounted on the square, ranging from mobilizations to workshops as well as verdurazo, which consists of selling vegetables through digital channels.
In addition to that and to celebrate Tuesday's Spring Day, the UTT will hold a “florazo” and the closing will feature an open-air arts festival.
The UTT maintains that in Argentina, only 13% of the land is in the hands of small producers who account for more than 60% of the food traded domestically, while 1% of agricultural companies control 36% of the cultivated land.
The bill that we are demanding proposes a Procrear-style soft credit system for the rural sector, with which small producer families can access land to produce food sustainably and live in decent housing, explained UTT leader Lucas Tedesco.
The bill has parliamentary status, and last May the Agriculture and Legislative Affairs commissions of the House of Deputies dealt with it, but without reaching an opinion. The bill had been submitted in October last year for the third time before the National Congress.
Now more than ever, the people need concrete measures to be able to access healthy food through fair prices, and for that, it is essential to lower and control the prices of the food basket, said UTT spokeswoman Rosalía Pellegrini.
She added that one of the concrete measures they propose was access to land through this Law so that producer families can provide more economical and healthy food for all Argentines.
Agustín Suárez, also of UTT, said that the agribusiness model represents a concentrated field that does not feed, is not focused on the hunger of the people, while generating extraordinary wealth from exports, which although necessary, the time has come to promote another model” which “feeds” Argentines. We are thousands of peasants, agricultural cooperatives and small and medium producers who propose a sustainable model through agroecology and the democratization of the land,” Suárez stressed.