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  • Under President Nicolas Maduro

    Under President Nicolas Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan government began promoting urban agriculture as a way to improve food sovereignty. | Photo: Minci

The Venezuelan government is meeting with grassroots groups to discuss expanding the country's urban agriculture.

Venezuela launched Saturday a national conference on urban agriculture, aimed to boost the productivity of small scale crops in major cities like Caracas.

The conference is the first of its kind in Venezuela, and will include government officials and representatives of grassroots organizations. President Nicolas Maduro is also expected to attend.

The president has said improving urban agriculture will support his government's aim to bolster the broader economy.

“If we want a society that is viable, progressive, socialist and humanist, then we need … productive cities,” Maduro stated.

The conference included an exhibition of crops obtained through urban agriculture, as well as workers and training given by experts and producers.

Under Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan government began promoting urban agriculture as a way to improve food sovereignty.

The initiative focused on developing organoponicos – a system of urban, organic agriculture developed in Cuba.

In 2013, Maduro vowed to double the number of organoponico units nationwide. Earlier that same year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recognized Venezuela for more than halving hunger within its territory.

According to Venezuela's official figures, the socialist government has invested US$142 billion dollars in food programs over the last 10 years, resulting a drop in malnutrition to 5 percent for close to 14 percent in 1992.

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