June 14th 2023
Circulo 47 is an initiative by the city of Merida to help stimulate the growth of the small farms around the city. There are a variety of micro farmers in the surrounding villages of Merida and this program encourages the local restaurants, stores and consumers to buy local and support the local farmers in the 47 villages surrounding the city.
Many villagers are forced to work in Merida, leaving their homes and children to be tended to by other family members during the week so that they can make money to provide for their families. In creating a market for the valuable work they do from their villages, there is an opportunity for the farmers and producers to stay close to home and have a better quality of life. And also the consumer gets a healthy product made and worked with local hands. It’s a win win.
The program focuses on three key areas of action:
- Empowering Producers: Círculo 47 provides training courses on good agricultural practices based on agroecological systems and entrepreneurship to strengthen the skills and knowledge of local farmers.
- Market Linkages: Through strategic partnerships, Círculo 47 facilitates the connection between agricultural farms and fair trade markets, ensuring that the produce reaches the right consumers.
- Citizen Outreach: Círculo 47 actively promotes awareness and engagement among the general public. It showcases new producers on the Geoportal platform allowing interested individuals to directly connect with them by seeing their location and what they offer. The program also maintains a dedicated website to showcase and promote the agricultural products of Mérida.
Circulo 47 started with 348 registered producers, and a second census is scheduled for June to determine the current number of participants. The products offered by these producers range from fruits, vegetables, and tortillas to livestock such as cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs, and honey.
Strengths and Opportunities of the Program:
This initiative has many benefits for the community including:
- Preservation of rural activities in Mérida’s communities, addressing the municipality’s food security and sovereignty.
- Responding to the increasing demand for local and agroecological food options.
- Creating meaningful self-employment opportunities in the communities, improving their local economy and reducing migration to urban areas. This way they can stay close to home and have time with their families. Many people in the village spend the week working as domestic workers in houses in Merida, leaving their children to be tended by the grandparents or other family members. In providing feasible working situations close to home, they are able to stay close to their children and be more involved in their day to day life.
- Establishing sustainable marketing mechanisms for small-scale producers, ensuring fair prices for their products.
- Encouraging collaboration among producers, consumers, and the government to find viable solutions that support local agricultural production.
Círculo 47 is a vital initiative that not only supports local farmers but also promotes sustainable agriculture, strengthens local economies, and enhances the overall food ecosystem in Mérida. By fostering connections between producers and consumers, the program contributes to the well-being of both rural communities and urban residents who value quality, locally sourced food.
Whether you’re a consumer interested in supporting local agriculture or a producer seeking market opportunities, Círculo 47 is a catalyst for positive change and a symbol of sustainable agricultural practices in Mérida, Mexico.
For more information on the city and its attractions, a good resource to check out is https://visitmerida.mx/inicio. As noted above you can download their app “Visit Mérida mx” for Android and iPhone, available at:
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