Landraces fair boosts quilombola peasants union

Translated from the news appeared on the Instituto Socioambiental website.

A woman from Ivaporunduva showing her landraces and seedlings. Eldorado, October the 23, 2010. Photo by Glenn Makuta.
A woman from Ivaporunduva showing her landraces and seedlings. Eldorado, October the 23, 2010. Photo by Glenn Makuta.

The Feira de Troca de Sementes e Mudas Tradicionais [Fair of Landraces Exchange] presented this year more than 100 etnovarieties of landraces and traditional seedlings. A generous offer of rice, beans, cassava, farmyard chicken – all natural inputs – allowed six cooks, also from the villages, to prepare a delicious collective lunch.

The Fair, at it 3rd edition, counted with new supporters, as of the Núcleo Oikos, as well as with long-standing ones, as the Norwegian Church Aid, while grew the engagement of the Instituto de Terras do Estado de São Paulo [Land Institute of S. Paulo State] and of the municipality of Eldorado and Itaóca. Local business supported with little sums the event too, and that it is very important, showing the involvement of the local society.

The renown the Fair is obtaining in wider circles was proved by the participation of other quilombola (afro-descendant) of the region (Peropava village, in Registro), craftswomens’ groups (Feito a Mão, from Apiaí), urban farmer (Ana do Mel and her family, from Embu-Guaçu), rural trade unions (of Cajatí), governmental bodies, as Ministério da Agricultura [Agriculture Ministry], Sabesp (in charge of the water), Cetesb (environment licensing) and Incra (land policy), among others. A group from S. Paulo, interested in knowing more about quilombola villages participated too, and after the Fair they followed, going to the Ivaporunduva e São Pedro villages, and spending there their week-end.

The landraces call to mind the roça (cropping) issue, that stays at the crossroad of other issues, as: community organization, the quilombola cultural system, biodiversity conservation, income generation, food security, involvement of the young generations and cropping normative framework. These issues were debated during a round of talks, held after the lunch, that involved quilombola villages representatives and invited visitors. […]

New challenges follow the work of those who are involved with roça (cropping), preparing a new fair. The fair, in the words of Ms. Zulmira, from Porto Velho, more than bringing food, brings much union: “For each fair, the sales grow and the relationship strengthen”, she said.

The fair was covered by the Globo Rural. Watch the video here (in Portuguese).

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