This project aims to empower three rural communities in Cordoba, Argentina exposed to high levels of agrochemical use (pesticides and fertilizers) in nearby crop fields. Families living in these poor areas have reported multiple health problems associated with this situation: increased skin and respiratory diseases, pregnancy complications, and significantly higher cancer rates (83% higher than the national average). FUNDEPS will work with these communities to advocate for protective laws.
In Argentina, large scale agricultural farming relies on the intensive use of agrochemicals (pesticides and fertilizers). Families living near crops, usually the poorest populations, have experienced increased health problems associated with exposure (skin and breathing diseases, pregnancy complications and higher cancer rates). For example, nationally there are 217 cases of cancer per 100,000 people on average, while in these communities the number rises to 397, an increase of 83% (see below).
In the area where we work, agrochemicals are regularly being sprayed overnight, frequently in violation of existing laws. When families hear the sound of the pesticide spraying machines in the middle of the night, parents and children are forced to temporarily flee their homes to protect their health. This situation is not only unjust, but deeply unsustainable. We need empowered communities who can push for the enforcement of current legislation and the implementation of more protective laws.
Policies that protect people from the harmful effects associated with agrochemical exposure will improve the quality of life of families living in rural areas. This project will promote a sustainable framework in which families would not have to see their loved ones suffer from preventable diseases. It will set a positive precedent of communities fighting for the protection of their health and environment and encourage alternative, more sustainable agricultural production methods.