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Seeds and skills sharing in Bolivia and Guatemala
Farming is a skill that is often passed on from one generation to another. Tried and tested methods are shared and a knowledge of how to sow seeds and when to harvest can produce bountiful yields.
For Sebastian and Juan Carlos, these farmers from Bolivia took their skills sharing one step further, by engaging in a skills-sharing workshop with farmers in Guatemala, organised by CENDA.
CENDA works with indigenous, farming communities that suffer from harsh climatic conditions and a scarcity of good land. They help communities to obtain rights to their land, and to grow crops despite the challenges of the climate crisis. In addition, they supported farmers in Bolivia and Guatemala to come together to share best practices and learn new skills.
On his visit to Guatemala, Sebastian learned about how the community there market their produce, which was of great use to him. Sebastian shares:
Juan Carlos shares about his experiences of participating in this workshop
"...I didn’t have any money to buy potato seed, and my son told me,… ‘Daddy, the seed is so expensive. What can we do?’ And I said to him, ‘Son, I heard in a workshop about how to get seed from the mak'unku (the potato berry).’ ‘We can study that’, he said, ‘so let's do it, let's see how it will work out’, my son told me.
“My father-in-law said to me, ‘you have to learn to produce your own seed’. That's why I galvanised myself into action, I listened carefully to what the experts talked about in the workshops, that's why I did it.
Others in the area have now approached Juan Carlos for seed from the mak’unku:
“Now my family no longer suffers as I have suffered. I want them to learn from our knowledge. I am grateful to you (CENDA). I hope that this won’t end and that things will improve even more. This is just a start, we started with not very much. Hopefully the whole community will be able to make progress so that we don’t have to buy certified seed from anywhere.“
Thank you for your support and standing with Sebastian, Juan Carlos and other farmers across the world.