Why is June 24 celebrated and why is agriculture key?

Why is June 24 celebrated and why is agriculture key?
Why is June 24 celebrated and why is agriculture key?

Learn how farmers contribute to food security and productive diversity.

(Agraria.pe) Farmer’s Day is a very important event in Peru because it pays tribute to those who make it possible for our population to have food for their survival. Why is June 24 celebrated? Why are agricultural producers the protagonists of family farming? How do rural men and women contribute to food security and agricultural productive diversity?

Farmers’ Day
Peasant’s Day, as such, was established on June 24, 1969, during the government of the dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado, within the framework of the promulgation of the Agrarian Reform Law.

The closest antecedent of this anniversary is found in the so-called Indian Day, which was celebrated on June 24 and was established by the government of Augusto B. Leguía, through a supreme decree promulgated on May 23, 1930.

This date was chosen due to the meaning that the winter solstice had for Inca society in the southern hemisphere, when the sun’s maximum declination occurs, and it was the time to worship the sun, called Inti in Quechua, to implore it to return with more energy to guarantee a year of good harvests.

This collective request led by the Inca himself and the priests, followed by the imperial army and the population as a whole, was expressed through the Inti Raymi, the most important festival of the Inca jubilee calendar which, today, is the most celebrated celebration. relevance of June, the festive month of Cusco.

Importance of Farmer’s Day
As an agricultural country, Farmer’s Day has great cultural, historical and social significance for Peru, given that agriculture was the greatest activity in the economy of our ancestors.

Currently, agriculture is the sector that generates the largest amount of labor and the one that defines great projections for the economic growth of the country through the work of the men and women who work in the countryside and who seek to make the future with his effort.

Today, in a globalized world and with the opening of markets, men and women in the countryside have improved their entrepreneurial capacity through associativity and the application of better technologies that allow them to increase the yield of their crops and improve the presentation. and sale of their products.

Agricultural households
According to the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation (Midagri), the largest number of agricultural households are concentrated in the Cajamarca, Puno, Cusco and Piura regions and together they make up 40% of the national total.

Of the total number of agricultural households, 85% of them are led by men and 15% by women.

Agriculture potentials
Peru is one of the privileged nations in food production due to the diversity of its ecological floors and microclimates, which give our country the advantage of being able to grow products throughout the year and offer our products to the world.

The availability of river and groundwater for the development of technical irrigation systems allows agricultural campaigns all year round. To this we must add the qochas or high Andean reservoirs, supplied with rainwater during the rainfall season, which are allowing the vital liquid to be available the rest of the year for crop lands, livestock and the consumption of the farmers themselves. .

The abundance of natural resources makes Peru a natural gene bank for humanity and has 5.5 million hectares of arable land with enormous potential to meet the demand of the internal and external market.

According to Midagri, approximately 84% of Peruvian agricultural producers have rural property of less than ten hectares.

The majority of agricultural producers are dedicated to small agriculture for subsistence and self-consumption purposes to meet the needs of their family and these are located, mainly, in the high Andean areas.

On the other hand, the countryside is one of the productive sectors with the greatest generation of employment at the national level, because it concentrates 28% of the Economically Active Population (EAP), and therefore is the basic source of income for rural families.

Family farming in Peru and the peasants
The National Agrarian Policy of Peru considers family farming as the axis and basis of its entire agri-food system, which allows it to achieve the objective of achieving a healthy diet, produced efficiently, that does not harm the environment and is accessible to everyone. Likewise, it has an important socioeconomic and cultural role.

In that sense, this policy highlights the empowerment of rural women due to the central role they play in food security and family agriculture. In Peru there are more than 3 million people dedicated to family farming, according to Midagri.

The role played by peasant and native communities is also fundamental, as they manage large areas of biodiverse territory and are repositories of ancestral knowledge and technologies.

The National Agrarian Policy seeks the application of agroecological foundations in agricultural production, agricultural innovation and technology as essential tools that contribute to increasing the productivity of men and women in the countryside.

The peasantry and food security
Rural men and women are protagonists in family farming, which plays a key role in the fight to eradicate hunger and poverty, in the nutrition of the population, as well as to improve living conditions, the management of natural resources, environmental protection and achieving sustainable development, particularly in rural areas.

As heirs of ancestral knowledge, the men and women of the countryside apply that wisdom in the management of sowing and harvesting, ensuring that it is conserved to continue producing varieties of potatoes, sweet potatoes, olluco, mashua, arracacha and other tubers; quinoa, kiwicha, cañihua and other Andean cereals; chili peppers, legumes, vegetables, fruit trees, spices and many other crops that are essential for feeding the population and also for the economy of agricultural producers.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), family farming includes all family-based agricultural activities and is related to various areas of rural development. Family farming is a way of classifying agricultural, forestry, fishing, pastoral and aquaculture production managed and operated by a family and that depends mainly on family labor, including both women and men.

In both developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in food production.

For FAO, at the level of each country there are several key factors for the successful development of family farming, such as agroecological conditions and territorial characteristics, the regulatory environment, access to markets, access to land and natural resources. , access to technology and extension services, access to financing, demographic, economic and sociocultural conditions, or the availability of specialized education, among others.

The objectives and strategic guidelines established in the National Agrarian Policy seek to contribute to food and nutritional security in Peru. In this sense, the importance of increasing productivity is recognized to contribute to the development of the sector, considering the food needs of the future populations to be served.

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