the revolution of the sicilian countryside

Sicily’s farmers are re-growing the “ancient grains”, the local cereal seeds, using traditional methods and the island’s ancient agricultural wisdom. With this, according to the newspaper La Repubblica, They are once again rebuilding the landscape and recovering the biodiversity of the Sicilian countryside, in the face of the monoculture techniques of multinationals, which seek uniformity and standards above quality.

Officially there are 500 hectares that have been converted to ancestral agriculture, but there is talk of 3,000. From the organization Simenza, which brings together more of 70 farmers and hopes to add 100 more, explain that diversity and the mixture of different seeds in the same crop field initiates a participatory natural selection that strengthens cereals, without the need to resort to chemical products, as occurs in monocultures. It is only necessary to have a little more patience; In a few cycles of harvesting and planting, production develops its full potential, thanks to the association between different grains that work together to adapt to the environmental conditions and the composition of the soil in the area.

The initiative is restoring Sicily’s biodiversity and reviving the area’s economy, and is part of a movement to provide healthy, nutritious food that is unaltered by chemicals. However, obstacles are not lacking, laws and international agreements favor multinationals: a handful of them control almost 60%, and in many cases, the exchange of seeds between producers is prohibited.