Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Visits to the small rural farms in Cochas, Ecuador

In 1966 the government of Ecuador passed a law requiring the large land owners to give up some of their land to the local people that had worked on the haciendas "plantations". As a result a new group of small farmers developed.

Edelina and her children and very happy with what they have learned
Most of them were given the poorest land on the hacienda. They farm the steep slopes without irrigation water. In most cases these farmers grew one crop and had to buy the rest of their food in the market in the valleys far below. It became very difficult for these families to provide enough nutritious food for their children. About half of the children in these areas are malnourished. With the help of The Institute for Self Reliant Agriculture (SRA), Edelina now has enough to feed all of her children. This year they have grown enough that they will have food stored for the whole year plus enough to plant again. They currently have 40 guinea pigs that they use as their principle source of protein.

The first part of their harvest is in their storehouse ready to be shelled off the cob.







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