Rural Women in Peru Key to Adaptation of Seeds to Climate Change

Mariela Jara – IPS -Tuesday, 05 June 2012 (originally published 29 May)

Rural women holding seeds
Farmers in Piura display native seeds they preserve. Image: Savina Cordova

LIMA, May 29, 2012 (IPS) – For ages, rural women in the Peruvian highlands have been selecting and storing seeds, ensuring their preservation. But the authorities have failed to tap into this storehouse of knowledge and experience, despite the contributions it could make to the design of effective policies for adaptation to climate change, which poses a growing threat to the women’s livelihoods.

Peru’s campesinas or peasant women have played this role from time immemorial, handing down their knowledge by oral transmission. But today their traditional know-how is insufficient to help them endure unseasonal rainfall, extreme frosts, gale-force winds and other climate change-related phenomena.

The national meteorology and hydrology service projects a 0.2 to 0.5 degree Celsius rise in temperature in Peru by 2030-2050 due to global warming. As a result, the rainy season will continue to change, which will have a heavy impact on agricultural production . . .

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