The AMBIO Cooperative and the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO, as operator) are developing the project "Ensuring the Future of the World Agriculture in the Face of Climate Change, Preserving the Genetic Diversity of Traditional Agroecosystems of Mexico".
This project considers as very important topic, to promote alternatives to counteract the use of agrochemicals such as malathion (a chemical commonly used for seed conservation) and glyphosate, as well as to promote the use of agroecological and conservation practices, with the use of varieties of native seeds used in systems, such as the milpa.
The use of environmentally and healthy friendly elements for the management of pests or diseases are priorities for the project, since the milpa is a reflection of the knowledge, technology and agricultural practices necessary to obtain from the land, the products necessary to satisfy the basic needs of the peasant families. This system continues to be the basis of food sovereignty in many regions of Mexico.
A common agricultural practice is the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which, in the short term, improve yields in agriculture, but in the long term, they degrade the soil, damage the microorganisms that give soil´s life and causes the loss organic matter, and therefore, its fertility. Similarly, the use of chemical products pollute waters and affect biodiversity, in addition of being expensive products, which increase production costs and have an impact to the family´s economy.
AMBIO has developed training workshops to promote the use of organic elements in the management of crops in six communities located within the Selva Zoque - Sumidero Canyon Complex in the state of Chiapas. These workshops are part of a basic training process for peasants, in the use of agroecological, easy and economic alternatives for the management of the milpa crops. The preparation of organic fertilizers and pesticides is addressed to control some of the most common pests present in the crops of the region, as well as techniques for the conservation of native seeds, making use of repellent plants.