If we lose control over corn we will lose our identity forever

If we lose control over corn we will lose our identity forever

By Matlalzin Guadarrama

This was mentioned last Friday during the presentation of the book Utopística agroecológica. Innovations, farmers and food security in corn, prepared by Toledo and the agroecologist and researcher at the Autonomous University of Puebla (UAP) Miguel Ángel Damián Huato, carried out within the framework of the XXIX edition of the National Book Fair (Fenalli) in the University Cultural Complex.

In his speech, the renowned UNAM intellectual indicated that large corporations such as Monsanto, which intend to introduce transgenic corn into Mexico using processes that poison the environment and ecosystems, have been supported by the Mexican government through the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa), as well as by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), instead of being on the side of the culture and memory of the country.

“As you know, we have just beaten Monsanto once again, we have won one more legal battle against the large corporations that want to introduce transgenic corn, a legal battle in which the Mexican government, mainly Sagarpa and Semarnat, have I have been on the side of the corporations and not on the side of the Mexicans or of history, their culture or their memory, ”he said.

Agroecological Utopistics, contribution to the defense of corn

Toledo Manzur pointed out that the book under his authorship and that of the researcher Damián Huato is one more contribution to the defense of corn in the current reality of the nation.

The also collaborator of La Jornada, specified that the work is located around three concepts: Utopianism, agroecology and corn.

Utopia, he explained, is a term proposed by the famous sociologist and intellectual of American origin, Immanuel Wallertein, which, unlike utopia, can be realized because it derives from an analysis of the present, allowing the realization of models for the future that have high probabilities of realization.

Likewise, the book touches on the theme of agroecology, a new trend that has emerged in the last three decades due to the ecological and environmental crisis facing the world.

60% of the food consumed in the world is generated by small producers

Toledo Manzur said that in recent years myths in the field of food production have been disproved, since it was thought that food came, mostly, from modern agroindustrial systems that use heavy machinery, pesticides, agrochemicals and transgenics, however it does Some months the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, known worldwide as FAO, recognized that 60 percent of the food consumed by the 7 billion human beings in the world comes from small producers and peasants.

Agroecology recognizes the knowledge transmitted by Mesoamerican cultures

Agroecology recognizes the importance of food production in a healthy way, since peasant systems operate resources adequately, unlike modern agro-industrial systems, promoted by Sagarpa, which emit around 25 to 30 percent of effect gas. greenhouse that causes climate change.

This new scientific discipline of ecological principles "puts aside this superb attitude of science" to admit the ancient knowledge of food production that exists thanks to Mesoamerican cultures, the scientist reported.

He explained that the increase in the indigenous population in Mexico is due to the fact that the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi), previously, calculated this segment of the population by the number of people who spoke an indigenous language, however in 2000 , the institute asked respondents if they considered themselves part of an ethnic group. This factor has increased the number of native population due, among other aspects, to resistance movements in Mexico such as Zapatismo.

"We are not in a country that is losing its original population, its history, its culture, its memory, on the contrary and this has to do with Zapatismo and the resistance movements in Mexico," he stressed.

Agroecology has generated a revolution in Latin America. In Mexico there are at least 2,000 successful experiences that make use of this expanding scientific discipline and it has been adopted by researchers, technicians, producers, peasant organizations, as well as professional chefs. Therefore, in the coming months, national and international congresses will be held on this topic.

Relevance of maize to rural society: biological and cultural nutrient

For his part, the agroecologist Damián Huato, stated that the first chapter of the issue presents the relevance of corn in the diet of the Mexican people, especially for rural society, because it is a biological and cultural nutrient.

He pointed out that the poorest entities of the country are specialized in the sowing of this grain, because according to Sagarpa, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla covered 28 percent of the total surface of the planted seasonal corn in 1980, however by 2014, they covered 35 percent.

He added that for the investigation, the agricultural models and programs implemented by the Mexican government were studied: that of Import Substitution and Neoriberalism, in which "The temporary corn producers are still a pending issue."

“We show two technological packages: one for Cohetzala and the other for San Nicolás de los Ranchos… they are almost the same, when the topoclimatic conditions are quite different; We cannot recommend similar technology packages for different conditions, ”he said.

The researcher explained that for the evaluation, two indexes were built focused on the technological factor: the index of appropriation of radical technologies and the degree of use of progressive technologies, because it is the production element that enhances the productive capacities of the earth and the worker.

Through an evaluation carried out in the 60 municipalities of Tlaxcala and in nine of the Puebla entity, it was detected that only 20 percent of the corn producers handle the grain as monoculture and the remaining 80 percent operate it as a polyculture.

Scientists established agroecological beacons in order to test the technological patterns of successful corn farmers and use the data in their inquiry.

Through these beacons, the UAP researcher said that in the Puebla municipality of Jolalpan, in the past seasonal agricultural cycle, 2,500 kilograms of corn were obtained per polyculture, that is, 5.3 times more than in the monoculture that registered less than 500 kilograms.

Damián Huato concluded that the most important technologies are peasant -agroecological- technologies in the management of corn, which present higher yields per hectare, in addition to the fact that these types of systems mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, conserve biodiversity and protect resources. hydric, in addition to the fact that thanks to the cornfield the genetic material of the different species of corn is preserved.

The Jornada de Oriente

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