The Vichada. Territories in Conflict.
Cultivating autonomy in the Vichada savannah.
Reservation of Saracure Cada.
In the municipality of Cumario Vichada, in the Saracure Cadá indigenous reserve, intercultural food sovereignty and the strengthening of community government of 60 Piapoco and Sikuani indigenous communities are promoted. (see detail map 641)
This project seeks to strengthen families and communities through training in the design of life plans and project management; with the purpose of supporting and strengthening community governments, with a view to achieving the physical and cultural survival of the participating communities. and the strengthening of traditional conucos (family farm units) to improve sustainability and food autonomy.
The reservation of Saracure Cadá has 4,500 inhabitants, with an extension of 180,000 hectares and its population is distributed in 104 communities, each of them governed by a captain, who is the authority. In the project we work with 130 families in the 60 communities, integrating into the work: 110 men and 20 women who were selected autonomously by the communities, for this training process.
Within the work of characterization and construction of the baseline, we find that the indigenous tradition is to cut down virgin forest, let it dry, burn, plant, harvest and repeat this process every year. For this reason, the virgin forest that there is at this time is very little. Today, 91 families out of the 130 participating in the project cultivate only 6 species or less in the conuco, unlike 40 years ago, where they cultivated at least 40 species. This strong change is due to the influence of illicit crops in the region. The families abandoned the conuco crops to go to the coca work and when the coca crops ran out, they returned to the conucos but using fewer seeds and fewer species.
The proposal that FUCAI takes to the territories is not to tear down any more virgin forest, to use the land already cultivated years ago, to create a vegetal layer by cutting the existing stubble and to achieve a diversified crop without burning. This proposal allows to improve soils, plant at various times during the year and for several years on the same land. After four or five years, a forest of selected timber and long-lasting fruit trees is left.
The indigenous communities welcomed this proposal with great enthusiasm after a test phase that lasted one year and we gave them the opportunity to carry out the conuco as they had been doing, but at the same time we selected a small piece of land (20m x 20m) already used for several years and there we planted a conuco promoting SAFS (succession agroforestry systems without burning), giving optimal results.
At the end of this first year of the project, 90% of the participating families have improved the crops around the houses in quantity and quality, increasing by 50% the species cultivated now in the conucos with an increase of at least between 6 and 10 species with the seeds delivered.
Proposal to address the identified problems.
The main proposals regarding cultivation and after 1 years of work with the communities have been:
- Do not demolish the little virgin forest that remains. Use the stubble to plant the conucos but without burning. In this way the soil is improved and it can be cultivated for at least 5 years in the same conuco.
- Recover diversity in the conuco.
- Include long-lasting timber and fruit trees in the conuco.
- Recover work in minga (community work)
- Appreciate native cuisine.
- Relationship between the conuco and health care.
To develop this proposal, FUCAI delivered seeds and tools to 130 families so that they could cultivate : dry rice, Jamaica flower, turmeric, ginger, tomato, beans, onion, paprika, moringa, chili, cucumber, sacha-inchi, Amazon lulo and cilantro. In addition, the tools for the Machete, Palín and Lima cultivation were delivered to each family.
Technical support follow-ups
To guarantee the good development of the work, each technician makes a monthly visit to each community (30 in each sector) and met and gave training on the implementation of the SAFs in the conucos for two hours with the participating people and their families, and other interested families (5 on average per community). In a monitoring carried out by the Project Coordinator after the Living Classroom, it was found that many of these families, who were not directly involved in the project, are putting into practice the knowledge and techniques used in the project. This work that the technicians do community by community is highly valued by the families of the project and by the others who are indirectly benefiting from it.
Formulation workshops for the Community Life Plan
The primary objective in carrying out the workshops is to initiate training in community government and provide the necessary tools for participation in decision-making spaces, collective agreements in favor of the Piapoco people, with the projection that they live in territories of peace and equality. of conditions.
- Develop the basic elements of the Community Life Plan.
- Generate a reflection on the traditional values of the Piapoco People
To achieve this, 4 workshops have been held to formulate the Community Life Plan, 2 in each sector. But the profiles of the projects are missing, because it was necessary to work with the 130 participants on issues of the Political Constitution and legislation related to indigenous peoples, as well as constitutional tools to assert individual and collective rights such as Guardianship and the Right of Petition (at the request of the Reservation Authorities).
Within the training of the participants by nuclei, the professional carried out and elaborated the family life plans for 5 nuclei for six communities each in each of the sectors. The 60 communities were grouped into 10 nuclei, 5 per sector. The participation was 70 people in Sector 1: Kaliawiri Kuwai and 73 people in Sector 2: Kaliawiri Tzipapu for a total of 143.
The training to develop a family or personal life plan focused on four basic elements:
- Being (personal or family values).
- Doing: (the job, what I want or what we want to do or what I need or need to do).
- Having: (what do I need or need to have to live with dignity)
- Being: (how I want or how we want to relate to others, with the environment...)
This project is sponsored by: committee e do service Charitable aid in favor of two third world countries.