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CNY-Cajibio Delegation Makes Seed Contribution for Future of Colombian Campesin@s

In Corporations, Government, International, Media Advisory, Peace on July 7, 2014 at 9:40 pm

CAJIBIO, CAUCA, COLOMBIA – The 10th anniversary CNY-Cajibio sister-city delegation participated in a symbolic presentation of seeds at the Feria Campesina (Small Farmer’s Fair) in Cajibio on July 4, 2014. A card signed by all twelve delegates which read “The Future Is In The Seed”, accompanied the contribution. Open pollinated varieties of tomato, pepper, summer squash, and melons saved by Frosty Morning Farm in Truxton, and two heritage bean varieties of the Onondaga people were given to Marylén Serna Salinas of the Movimiento Campesinos de Cajibio (MCC) By delegate Colleen Kattau.

Kattau, said that “the seed donation symbolizes the right to save, share, and distribute seed autonomously which should be everyone’s right”.

This Feria is the second held by the MCC in support of the Campesin@’s campaign to be recognized as a distinct population with rights and responsibilities by the Colombian state government. The exchange of seeds, knowledge, flavors, and products that took place at the Feria was also a demonstration of the Campesin@’s quest for food and economic sovereignty.

Delegates also displayed and provided tastings of Finger Lakes agricultural and artistic products such as honey, maple syrup, cards designed by local artists, soap, beeswax candles and more (all donated by artists and small farmers from Central New York). Emily Bishop and Anthony Zaun-Lokos also made a statement representing the youth contingent of this delegation as to how the seed contribution represents the next generation of the sister-city relationship and the building of relationships with people abroad who share common goals and challenges.

Patricia Rodriguez, Associate Professor at Ithaca College, stated that “providing international solidarity and support for the MCC is now more important than ever as peace talks in Colombia continue after the re-election of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Campesin@’s fight for recognition, and representation at the negotiations.”

The delegates plan to organize community events in their respective communities in Central New York upon their return to share about the organizational processes and the united efforts that the MCC and other groups have engaged in at the local, regional, and national levels, to bring about social change.

Contact: Patricia Rodriguez at prodriguez@ithaca.edu or Frank Cetera at franklen9807@gmail.com.

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