In Arica, there are agricultural crops unique worldwide that are disappearing due to lack of knowledge and valuation. Custodians of seeds through the exchange of seeds seek to rescue the agricultural heritage of the northern tradition and return to the north of Chile.
In Arica, there are agricultural crops unique worldwide that are disappearing due to lack of knowledge and valuation. In order to rescue these cultures and return to the farmers to continue using, the Third Native Seed Exchange in North Chile will be held on Wednesday July 5th, 2006.
This event will take place at the headquarters of Asoagro, from Arica 9.00-14:00 and will be particularly important for farmers and peasants of the region, who may recover and exchange old seed, used by parents and grandparents, with the idea of returning to cultivate support for the safeguarding of cultural and agricultural traditions of the area. The meeting aims to contribute to the conservation of seeds originating as a unique heritage, and encourage more and more farmers will join this effort as custodians of seeds.
This activity is organized by the Foundation for Sustainable Societies and is supported by Asoagro and Development Corporation Parinacota and Arica, in addition to the support of different organizations, indigenous and agricultural.
Custodians of seeds
This meeting is based on central seminar "Cultivos Andinos Northern Chile: an Evaluation of Agricultural and Cultural Heritage", held during October 2001 in Arica and Putre. At that time the peasants, farmers and representatives of the Aymara people of the northern set, among other conclusions, said "the need to generate urgent action to rescue, preserve and promote the use of varieties of traditional crops and fruit trees." They undertook to work for the recovery, conservation and enhancement of native seed in northern Chile.
Therefore, during this event will have a key called "Guardians of Seed," who have been concerned to maintain old varieties circulating in the community. Moreover, the spread of different uses of seeds, recipes, cultivation practices and medicinal uses, to directly benefit the community.
Exchanges of seeds are a technique used around the world to rescue traditional crop varieties that are being lost, in order that these are shared between farmers called custodians or guardians or caretakers of seeds. Each person brings different varieties of seeds exchanged with others, in this way reduce the risk to be lost.
FSS has already held two meetings earlier, Asoagro in June and November 2004. The last meeting was attended by 37 guardians representing 15 localities and a large number of observers, including authorities, academics and students of agronomy, there was an exchange of a total of 84 varieties of various crops.
Benefits of unique crop
In general, production of traditional crops is easier than the other varieties, mainly because they could not grow where others are locally adapted, resistant to drought, cold, pests, low-input cost and are easy to store. They help to increase the productivity of other crops, conserve soil and increase fertility. This is compounded by their cultural value to maintain cultural traditions and gastronomy.
Among the crops that remain in our area highlight Pepper, Cotton, Pumpkin, Caygua, Locoto, maize, potato, Nuna Bean, Bean Pallar, tarwi (Lupino), Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Oca, Ulluco, Quinoa, Qañihua, Capuli, Chirimoya, Guayabo, lucuma, Pacaya, Avocado, Papaya, Mango, Fresh Cucumber, Passion Fruit, Rump, Tumbo, Tuna. In addition, other previously introduced and which are adapted to local conditions of climate and soil, as Lluta of alfalfa, corn Lluta, Pica of lemon, pear easter, olive Azapa.
According to a survey by the Sustainable Societies Foundation 2001 between farmers and peasants, there were 57 types of fruit trees and crops lost in towns of Arica Parinacota both Andean zones, pre and valleys: Acelga, Airampo, Pepper, Cotton, Almond, Arracacha, Oats, Red Cactus fruit, Pumpkin, Sweet Potato White, Barley, Onion, copiapina, Black Plum, Chirimoya Duraznillo, cactus fruit chandelier, Strawberry, Granadilla, Khaki Green, lentils, Lucuma, chilpe corn, white corn, Maxa, Membrillo, Turnip, Potatoes (choqueros, kuwisiyu, apilla, white, bull tongue, Llokche, Chaucha, amajaya, cacho, 7 leather, black, Luque), purple sweet cucumber, Easter Bean Pallas, Bean Nuna, Puscalla, Qañiwa, Quinua, Fodder beet, Tomato black poncho, Limean Tomato, Wheat, Ulluco Italia grapes, carrot, pumpkin quintalero, pumpkin, pumpkin plant, pumpkin pachilla.
Among the main causes of the disappearance of these ancient cultures, as farmers and peasants of the area, highlight the lack of water resources and land suitable for planting, pests, diseases, few seeds, lack of transportation. Another factor is the economic problem and the shortage of markets where market these products. At present, another major enemy of seed crops is originating, that is, genetically modified, which contaminate traditional varieties. During this Third Seed Exchange, and reported to the custodians and participants on this new risk and discuss possible solutions. I invites interested persons to participate by bringing old seeds or simply as observers. Contact Ms. Nancy Alanoca Tel 2235459
Source: Sustainable Societies Foundation (FSS)