The Latin American Congress of Young Farmers, to build the future of good, clean and fair food for everyone, from October 28 to 31, 2019 in Barranco, Lima, Peru.
SISAY, from the Quechua word for “blooming”, is a unique gathering and learning event facilitated by the Slow Food network in Peru, for young people committed to farming and sustainable food in a range of capacities. This year, 70 young people from 17 departments of Peru and the Latin American Slow Food network took part, with representatives from Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Mexico and Puerto Rico, from a range of backgrounds, including farmers, harvesters, food processors, chefs, artisan fishermen and beekeepers, with a proven focus on sustainability.
Slow Food’s goal, through SISAY, is to empower the new generation to become leaders of responsible farming and healthy food in their communities. In Peru, 1.8 million young people live in rural areas (1), who, equipped with information, tools and contacts, can drive informed decision-making while taking account of the common good, healthy eating, climate change, and the conservation of biodiversity and cultures.
Although the harmful effect of pesticides on human and environmental health has been demonstrated worldwide, SENASA continues to use these pesticides, including glyphosate, which is banned in a number of countries around the world. It has also been reported that representatives of multinational corporations such as Monsanto-Bayer have a direct influence in important positions in the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) and finance talks and workshops at SENASA and the Ministry of Health. In addition, according to the Agency for Environmental Assessment and Monitoring (OEFA), transgenic crops are being cultivated in Peru, in Piura and Madre de Dios, despite the moratorium in place until 2021.
To address the above issues, over the course of four days at SISAY, renowned speakers shared the latest knowledge through conferences and workshops in three areas: Identity, Sustainable Production and Seeds, and Market. In addition, a seed exchange, an institutional fair, and visits to organic farms, processing plants, supermarkets and gourmet restaurants were organized to illustrate the good practices that young entrepreneurs can follow in their projects.
“The experiences shared with all my colleagues from around the country were very helpful for me. It was an opportunity to look at myself, who I am and where I want to go, to find myself, with all my personal values.” said Jesús Bautista Javier Espinoza from Ancash.
“Meeting young people with objectives similar to mine gives me more security because I can say that I am not the only one who is working for a better future” said Vladimir Hagler Reyes Orihuela from Puno.
The event culminated in the creation of a roadmap by the young attendees for the development of a declaration that reflects their voices and makes recommendations to ensure a future for good, clean and fair agriculture. In particular, the following priorities are highlighted: environmental education; family and agro-ecological agriculture; seed conservation with the main objective of influencing public policies for the defense and safeguarding of sovereignty practices in the agrifood system and support for young entrepreneurs through easily accessible platforms and programs.
The declaration is being drawn up and will be issued as soon as possible.
As a result of the event we have the strong commitment of young people to create Slow Food communities (https://www.slowfood.com/es/nuestra-red/la-comunidad-de-slow-food/), a form of open and inclusive local organization that shares common international objectives, such as protecting biodiversity, overcoming inequality, and defending good, clean and fair food as a right for everyone.
SISAY is inspired by Terra Madre, a meeting of the global Slow Food network that takes place every two years in Turin, Italy. Slow Food was founded in 1989 to stop the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, to counter the rise of fast living and to get people to engage again with where the food they eat comes from and the people who produce it. Slow Food involves more than one million people in over 160 countries. The idea is simple: we can all access and enjoy food that is good, clean, fair and biodiverse, for ourselves, for those who produce it and for the planet.
Finally, SISAY took place this year with the support of: Eclosio – Cooperación Belga, Gastón Acurio, Red de Agricultura Ecológica y Consorcio Agroecológico del Perú, SUCO – FORMAGRO, Rikolto, GEF MINAM, La Rústica + AGAPE (Turin, Italy), MINAGRI, ACCA, La Ladrillera, BOS+ y DRIS, Agroferias Campesinas, IFOAM, Terra Nuova, Huerto Tamarindo, El Albergue, Inkaterra, Tejiendo Sonrisas, Guayapi, Le Cordon Bleu, NOA Natural del Perú, Seleno Health, IDMA Abancay, Shiwi, University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo – Italy, Munay, Sumak Kawsay and ONG Nubes, Slow Food and Slow Food Youth Network. We are very grateful and hope to be able to continue building opportunities together for a “better, cleaner and fairer” future.
We would also like to thank the companies that hosted the young attendees: Astrid & Gastón, El Pan de la Chola, Área de Sostenibilidad de Wong, Flora & Fauna, Fundo Orgánico La Lagunita, Sumaq Pato, Fix and NOA Natural del Perú. And the chefs who helped us with the fundraising dinners, Berta Uribe, Matías Cilloniz, Andrés Orellana (in Lima) and Gerson F. Figueroa Vargas, Cristian Ogoña Borjas, Abel Choque Huillca, Juan Rafael Quispe, Javier Valdez, Luis Alberto Sacilotto, Rocio Zuñiga, Lucho Quiroz, Martin Cespedes Van Oordt (in Cusco).
(2) Source: SPO-DIAIA-SENASA-2019; INEI- IV Censo Nacional Agropecuario 2012
(3) Source: FiBL Survey, 2019