The “Austria-Argentina Alliance” project, which was initiated by INCUPO and WELTHAUS Graz with the cooperation of the Austrian Ministry of Climate, will have a strong chapter between April 13 and 27, with the arrival of family farmers from Argentina to the country European. The central element of this project is the strengthening of family farming on both sides of the Atlantic, which is reflected in its slogan “Together for sustainable agriculture”; and in which those who work the land are the main actors.
This is the second meeting, this time with Austrian producers as hosts, which includes a tour of pig, sheep and cattle farms, organic forestry, cow breeding, cereal and vegetable cultivation, fruit and processing, and agricultural stores. In addition, they will make contact with farms that emphasize the importance of training and education for consumers and institutions that investigate climate change and its relationship with protein food.
How will the entourage be made up?
The Argentine representation will be made up of the president of Incupo, Ernesto Stahringer, the coordinator of the Alianza project, Graciela Gasperi, and the member of the Incupo technical team, Juan Carlos Figueredo, who will accompany leaders from five provinces, with a diversity that seeks to bring the realities of young producers, women and their actions and representatives of organizations:
● Isabel Blanco is a family farmer from Corrientes and is currently treasurer of the Union of Producers Association of the Department of San Luis del Palmar (UNIPRO).
● Aníbal Frete carries out livestock farming in his field, with a strong agroecological and regenerative perspective, through rational grazing. Its production is in the area of General San Martín, Chaco.
● Raul Cococcioni is a producer from Villafañe, Formosa. Together with his family, he runs a diversified production of cattle, pigs, poultry, and an orchard with corn, cassava, and other agroecological foods. He is the president of the Family Farmers Association in his town.
● Dina Domínguez is a family farmer who manages forests with integrated livestock. In Colonia Durán, located in the north of Santa Fe, she works the land and currently chairs the organization Creciendo Juntos (which brings together more than 180 members).
● Pablo Pailolle is a family pig farmer from an old family tradition, in the south of Santa Fe. He actively participates in Federated Bases and is a member of INTA’s National Advisory Council.
● José Luis Castillo is a family farmer and produces food on his 10 hectares in Villa Ocampo, North of Santa Fe. He is a member of the organization Obreros del Surco (which has 100 members) and of ACINA (Asamblea Campesino Indígena del Norte Argentino, regional in scope ).
● Florencia Sager is a family farmer in North Santa Fe. She raises cattle with native forest management. She is the daughter of family farmers and is studying veterinary medicine. She participates in the organization Creciendo Juntos.
● Francisco Príncipe is a family farmer in Villa Eloísa, in the south of Santa Fe. He raises cattle with crop rotation. He participates in Argentine Federated Farmers.
● Emilse Luna is a goat and poultry family farmer from Añatuya, Santiago del Estero. She produces and markets chicken meat raised with forest fruits with homemade balanced preparations and works in the processing of carob. She is a member of the zonal Land Board.
Achievements already achieved
Last year, during the month of November, a delegation of family farmers from Austria visited Argentina to make a first approach within the framework of this alliance between both countries. As a result of this first face-to-face exchange, a declaration was prepared and presented at the headquarters of the Argentine Episcopate, with the presence of Miguel Gomez President of the National Institute of Indigenous Peasant Family Agriculture, the vice head of mission of the Austrian Embassy in Argentina, Lisa Butzenlechner and the president of the Episcopal Commission for Social Pastoral Care, Monsignor Lugones.
That statement, which was released on November 18, stated that in the face of global problems such as environmental pollution and the effects of climate change; the urgency in the conservation of natural spaces such as the Amazon, the Chaco region and the Guaraní Aquifer; a global trade in agricultural products that leads to deforestation; and consumers’ loss of contact with food production and processing; family farm producers from Austria and Argentina proposed:
● A production of healthy and culturally appropriate food;
● The reinforcement of local networks, with regional marketing;
● The implementation of communication and education strategies to show the work of small producers
● Awareness to positively influence consumers;
● An international dialogue to work together on global solutions;
● Joint work between family farmers, organizations and States for a climate-friendly food system.
And, to achieve this, they asked for the recognition of family farmers who produce with an agroecological approach, by governments; the support of institutions and organizations. And finally, the design of global strategies based on humanity, spirituality and the will to change.
About those who organize and manage the Alliance
INCUPO has been working for 50 years in the regions of Chaco, Argentina, in the family farming sector. Among the main actions carried out throughout this time, he carried out numerous joint projects with organizations in the sector; it developed educational offers for peasant and indigenous communities, in addition, it accompanies and manages agroecological and technological improvements and participates in the creation of strategies for the sustainable use of the native forest.
Together with indigenous peasant family farming organizations, Incupo works for food sovereignty, strengthening the local economy, environmental protection and human rights. The strategies are developed in cooperation with universities and academia.
Welthaus Diözese Graz-Seckau was founded in 1970 as the Diocesan Commission for the Universal Church and the Promotion of Development of the Diocese of Graz-Seckau. This organization receives contributions from the church annually for the financing of projects in countries of the Global South and East of Europe, as well as for educational and promotional work in Austria. This is supplemented by income through co-financing projects with the Austrian Development Agency and the Styrian State Government.
In all three activity areas of development cooperation, promotion and education, the focus is on the issue of food sovereignty.
Welthaus Graz was actively involved in numerous EU projects as lead or partner organisation. Through regional and educational work with a focus on the topics of agriculture and nutrition, there are good contacts with farms and organizations in the Styrian regions.