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The “5th National Native Seed and Family Farming Festival: Building Food Sovereignty” will be held from next Friday through Sunday in Valle Eden, Tacuarembó, Uruguay. Nearly 200 family farmers from different parts of the country are expected to participate, plus around 1,000 people.
“The 6th National Meeting of Native Seed Producers” will be held in parallel to this festival. Both meetings are organized by the Uruguayan Network to Save and Value Native Seeds, REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay, Centro Agustín Ferreiro (training center for rural teachers), the National Commission of Rural Promotion and the School of Agronomy of the University of the Republic.
The Native Seed Festival is a space for family farmers to share with the general public and social organizations the importance of the country’s genetic resources for food sovereignty. The festival gathers several national and departmental groups, farmers and agroecology organizations, researchers and professors linked with saving native seeds, as well as social organizations concerned with the country’s genetic heritage, agroecology and family farming.
The Uruguayan Network to Save and Value Native Seeds is organized in 24 local groups in the departments of Artigas, Salto, Paysandú, Tacuarembó, Cerro Largo, Maldonado, Canelones, Lavalleja, Treinta y Tres, Montevideo, San José and Colonia. It has 160 family plots of land that are part of the collective system of in situ preservation.
On the latest edition of “Mil Voces”, Real World Radio’s show aired on Fridays, we interviewed the coordinator of the Network and member of REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay, Mariano Beltran. We spoke about the preparations for the festival and the political views underlying native seeds conservation, family farming and food sovereignty.
“Este triunfo de Uruguay debe ser un llamado urgente a analizar, revisar, renegociar o anular cuando corresponda todos los tratados bilaterales de comercio y de protección de inversiones que ha suscrito el país, antes de exponernos a nuevas demandas en las que podemos correr con distinta suerte que en la recién finalizada”.
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