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Thu Oct 22, 2015, 12:41 AM

Terrace Farming – an Ancient Indigenous Model for Food Security

Terrace Farming – an Ancient Indigenous Model for Food Security
By Marianela Jarroud


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Terraces built by Atacameño Indians in the village of Caspana in Alto Loa, in the northern Chilean region of Antofagasta.
This ageold farming technique represents an adaptation to the climate, and ensures the right to food of these Andes
highlands people. Credit: Marianela Jarroud/IPSTerraces built by Atacameño Indians in the village of Caspana in Alto Loa,
in the northern Chilean region of Antofagasta. This ageold farming technique represents an adaptation to the climate, and
ensures the right to food of these Andes highlands people. Credit: Marianela Jarroud/IPS
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CASPANA, Chile, Oct 21 2015 (IPS) - Terrace farming as practiced from time immemorial by native peoples in the Andes mountains contributes to food security as a strategy of adaptation in an environment where the geography and other conditions make the production of nutritional foods a complex undertaking.

This ancient prehispanic technique, still practiced in vast areas of the Andes highlands, including Chile, “is very important from the point of view of adaptation to the climate and the ecosystem,” said Fabiola Aránguiz.

“By using terraces, water, which is increasingly scarce in the northern part of the country, is utilised in a more efficient manner,” Aránguiz, a junior professional officer on family farming with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), told IPS from the agency’s regional headquarters in Santiago, some 1,400 km south of the town of Caspana in Chile’s Atacama desert.

In this country’s Andes highands, terrace farming has mainly been practiced by the Atacameño and Quechua indigenous peoples, who have inhabited the Atacama desert in the north for around 9,000 years. Principally living in oases, gorges and valleys of Alto Loa, in the region of Antofagasta, these peoples learned about terrace farming from the Inca, who taught them how to make the best use of scant water resources to grow food on the limited fertile land at such high altitudes.

More:
http://www.ipsnews.net/2015/10/terrace-farming-an-ancient-indigenous-model-for-food-security/

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