TEPIC, Mexico — Mexico’s ancient civilizations cultivated crops such as maize, tomatoes and chilies for thousands of years before the Spanish conquerors arrived — and now those native plants could hold the key to sustainable food production as climate change bites, a leading ecologist told Thomson Reuters Foundation.
José Sarukhán Kermez, who helped set up Mexico’s pioneering National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), said that analyzing the genetic variability of traditional crops, and supporting the family farmers who grow most of the world’s food offered an alternative to industrial agriculture.
“We don’t need to manipulate hugely the genetic characteristics of these (crops)… because that biodiversity is there – you have to just select and use it with the knowledge of the people who have been doing that for thousands of years,” said Sarukhán, CONABIO’s national coordinator, in a telephone interview.
The emeritus professor and former rector of the National University of Mexico (UNAM) recently won the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, often referred to as a “Nobel for the Environment”.
Making use of the knowledge held by indigenous groups is “absolutely essential”, Sarukhán told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
That requires working with a wide range of people, from local cooks to small-scale farmers, especially in states like Oaxaca and Chiapas in the south of Mexico where indigenous farmers have a strong traditional culture, he said.
“They haven’t gone to university, and they don’t have a degree – but they damn well know how to do these things,” he said. For example, they discover and incorporate new knowledge as they exchange seeds with peers from different areas.
Click here to read complete article.
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
more recommended stories
Mérida,Yucatán: Best Destination at the Food and Travel Awards
In the fifth edition of the.
More than 4,000 Carey turtle nests have been registered in Campeche
“The Carey turtle nesting has increased.
Playa del Carmen: From Heaven to Hell
11 year old girl murdered and.
Mexico offers $1.6 million USD for information leading to drug lord’s arrest
MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) – Mexico is offering.
State of Emergency in Florida due to Red Tide
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) declared a.
Semarnat acquires machinery to remove sargassum from Quintana Roo beaches
According to mexiconewsnetwork.com, the Ministry of.
Mexican students turn blackwater into clean fuel
Two female students from the Industrial.
The best thing about Holbox these days… It’s sargassum free!
Holbox Island has become the ideal.
Yucatecan mummies of Santa Elena another tourist attraction in our state
Although, Guanajuato is famous for its.
Diversity and Inclusion: Dos Equis rewrites the rules
Cerveza Dos Equis (XX) changes its.