Title: Hortas Cariocas Program
City: Rio de Janeiro
Date of start: 09/2006
SDGs: 3, 8, 9, 11
Created in 2006, Hortas Cariocas seeks to bring the population closer to urban and organic agriculture, as well as to encourage jobs for the local population and to serve as a laboratory for environmental education. The program identifies areas with potential to become or host urban farms in communities in need and in municipal public schools.
Urban and school farms are common initiatives in various parts of the world. However, in most cases, they last a short time, since the work force is composed basically by volunteers.
The difference of the Hortas Cariocas Program is that every urban farm has employees that are responsible to manage and grow the farms, as well to teach the people that live around the farm and students about the organic and urban agriculture. The program tries to involve the whole community, since it employs only local people and aims to serve not only the population of the region. Moreover, it invites the community to learn about the organic agriculture and provides a good quality food for other projects like public schools, public day cares, etc.
It is important to mention the prerogative that urban farms must sell half of what is produced, in order to generate additional revenues, allowing the emancipation of the teams. By selling their products they promote and strengthens urban and peri-urban food production as well as creating and supporting short food chains.
In the case of the school farms, the teams cannot sell the production, so they do not generate income and the teams are not emancipated, but, on the other hand, an intimate relationship is established between the students and the food and rural education.
Currently there are 39 gardens within the program that produce about 50 tons of food without the use of fertilizers, agrochemicals and pesticides. The gardens’ food production benefits about 20 thousand citizens.
The Hortas Carioca program bets on the strategy of local socio-economic development based on vocational and accumulated social capital, so that low income communities with high levels of malnutrition and some kind of environmental vulnerability can be guaranteed the basic human right to healthy and good quality food, as another way to fight hunger and environmental degradation in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
For its commitment to encourage actions that promote urban agroecology and quality food production, at affordable prices and creating jobs opportunities.Motivation of the MPA 2019 Evaluation Committee
Its initiative created 39 urban gardens that produce about 50 tons of organic food per year, involving about 100.000 citizens.