José de Almeida, Certified Agricultural Engineer, Lima, Peru
José de Almeida’s dynamic short presentation reminded the audience that man is an integral part of nature and that a relationship of mutual respect is necessary between man, animals and nature. With clever questions, he made the Congress participants reflect on their own consumer behaviour and finally come to the realisation that they, as consumers, bear a share of responsibility with their purchasing decisions.
The speaker reported on his experiences and observations in his home country Peru, an export country for many products such as coffee and avocado. In order to serve global markets, small-scale agricultural land continues to be converted or sometimes even tropical rainforest is completely cleared in order to cultivate large monocultures instead. The consequences are loss of habitat and biodiversity, leading to, among other things, a devastating food crisis for the local population.
José de Almeida presented agricultural forestry, a centuries-old practice, as an ecological and future-oriented alternative to profit-driven monoculture. In agricultural forestry, agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry are practised on the same land, with the aim of creating a symbiosis between animal and plant life, improving biodiversity and achieving an “agroecosystem”, a natural balance between agriculture and nature.
Finally, the speaker introduced the audience to some impressive successful projects in Peru, in which the concept of agricultural forestry is not only taught, but also lived in practice. He concluded his lecture with a touching plea about the love for “Pachamama”, which means “Mother Earth” in Quechua, one of the ancient languages of the Andean peoples.
21st October 2022, Hotel Mövenpick, Regensdorf