Cornelio Hancco Landa, organic potato farmer, lives with his family at an altitude of 4000 meters in the Peruvian Andes. ‘Fifteen years ago I started noticing effects of rising temperatures. The glacier, that you can see in the mountain summit, was once at the same level of our house. Because of meltwater, we live in a fertile area, but I fear the day that we run out of this water. The defrosting causes sometimes as much as twenty landslides a day. Another effect is the appearance of diseases in my potato cultivars, that quickly spread in these conditions. To get a good harvest, I need to plant my potatoes higher and higher.’

Since 2016, Cornelio is a participant of the SD=HS Farmer Field Schools, where he learns more about plant enhancement, pest control and the use of local crop species for healthy and nutritious diets. The SD=HS program in Peru showed how these local (often forgotten and underutilized) species form an effective coping strategy in times where effects of climate change leads to a lost harvest and thus malnutrition and hunger. ‘I want more training, to do well with my potatoes and provide for a healthy life for my family. With the melting of the glacier, I am afraid that I must leave this place, my animals and my potatoes.’

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