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Urban gardens blossom in hungry Caracas

Urban farming is becoming a necessity in Caracas. (Michel Piccaya /

In Caracas, food shortages are fueling the rise of urban gardens, particularly in slums. John Otis reports for NPR that enterprising Venezuelans are coping with the crisis by growing lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, passion fruit and other produce. They’re also raising chickens in tiny coops.

Critics blame the government’s economic policies for severe shortages of essentials such as bread, milk and meat, the article says. Residents are responding by transforming balconies, rooftops and small plots into private food sources.

Otis notes that President Nicolás Maduro is encouraging the trend — despite the fact that more than 80 percent of Venezuelans reside in urban areas. He even created a Ministry of Urban Farming and boasts that he and his wife practice what they preach. Skeptics question whether urban gardens are sufficient and say the government must do more to boost commercial food production.


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