Zenón Gomel Apaza of the Quechua people is a farmer and an agricultural engineer who advocates the use of ancient skills to help Andean farming communities improve their crop yields and ensure variety. Most Quechuas live in the Andean highlands and to this day, they still rely on subsistence agriculture. After completing university studies in agronomy and returning to his home village in the Peruvian Andes, Zenón realized the modern farming techniques and methods that he had studied didn’t match the reality of the harsh conditions of the Altiplano, which often resulted in failed crops, depleted soils and dysfunctional communities. After speaking with local farmers, Zenón realized that agriculture could be based on local knowledge so he launched the Asociación Savia Andina Pukara to promote the cultivation of a wider variety of native plants.

Under the watchful eye of his mentor, spiritual leader and local farmer Don Juan, Zenón devotes his time to cultivating the land in the manner of his ancestors in order to produce an array of traditional Quechua food staples, proving that variety really is the spice of life.
Feb 8, 2016
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