The activities of ASeS in Paraguay
We are pleased to publish excerpts from an email from our Vice President Norberto Bellini, as he managed to summarize, succinctly but at the same time with great descriptive ability, the action of the Solidarity and Development Association in Paraguay in recent years.
Indeed, we recall that.
ASeS has been working since 2004 to promote rural
Our organization and its individual members have had a very strong and deep-rooted connection with this country for an even longer time; this relationship led, among other things, to the appointment of the former and late ASeS President Giuseppe Politi as honorary president of the farmers’ organizations that arose in that region thanks to the action of the Solidarity and Development Association. This long relationship, the projects we have done on the ground and those we are planning will soon be the focus of some specific in-depth articles.
We therefore reproduce here some pieces of this communication, loosely integrated for easier use, to begin to give an idea of what ASeS’ intervention in Paraguay was and meant:
The guidelines followed for our activities on the ground have been inspired both by the history of Italian peasant struggles and by the agricultural policy lines pursued, in Italy and at the European Union, by the Confederazione Italiana Agricoltori, of which ASeS is a member. The fruit of this action in Paraguay, in the Misiones Region, is yielding an excellent result: echoing the history of peasant struggles for land in Italy in the last century, struggles to claim land against the latifundium have begun, leading to the establishment of 10 rural settlements in the Misiones Department.
The first action was the training of local leaders and then ASeS took charge, with the support of the European Union, of creating a concrete example of land reform known as “Martin Rolon,” named after a young peasant leader imprisoned during the dictatorship and since disappeared; this pilot settlement has become a nationwide example in Paraguay.
Then the water problem was addressed, with the construction of seven artesian wells equipped with a distribution network in as many settlements. The next step was to move beyond subsistence farming to cash crops, forming a regional product association and signing contracts with agribusiness. The latest stop on this long journey is the Giuseppe Politi Agroindustry, which opened on Dec. 12. Another important aspect was to ensure generational change in small family farms, and for this the Solidarity and Development Association implemented a specific project by supporting the CEASIL agricultural school.
An agricultural project is currently being implemented in the municipality of San Patricio with the direct involvement of a Paraguayan government structure (Servicio de Acciòn Social). Finally, in the municipal elections held last Dec. 15, for the first time the peasants of Misiones presented their own candidates, winning the municipality of San Patricio and obtaining joint councilors in the municipality of San Ignacio where the Martin Rolon settlement is located. We all hope that this will finally give voice to the rural world in Paraguay.
We are also extremely pleased to mention one last recent accomplishment: the completion of electrification in the part known as “Playo” of the department, which is located 5 kilometers from the central core of the Martin Rolon settlement, via the article in one of Paraguay’s major newspapers, which mentions the action on the ground carried out by ASeS: Abastecen a asentamiento