Black tomatoes, 30 varieties of potatoes and more. This is the story of Angelo and Valerio who in Puglia are creating a market of ancient seeds to fight GMOs and multinationals.He is about to end up run over, his mother saves him
Black tomatoes, 30 varieties of potatoes and more. This is the story of Angelo and Valerio who in Puglia are creating a market for ancient seeds to fight GMOs and multinationals.
Angelo Giordano is an agronomist while Valerio Tanzarella is a lawyer, who worked for years at Rai Cinema in the legal office. They are both from Ceglie Messapica and five and a half years ago they created Ex Terra, an Srl company which is also an SB, a benefit company.
“In addition to being a profitable company, like all the others, ours also pursues ethical goals. Together we have a company that deals with seeds of forgotten varieties, rare and precious, ancient and particular, to cultivate them, to study them and to spread them ”, they say.
A path that goes against the tide in the era of Monsanto-Bayer and Syngenta, the giants that produce pesticides and glyphosate. Angelo and Valerio, on the other hand, aim at the enhancement and protection of local agro-biodiversity.
“The choice to focus on biodiversity has several reasons, primarily ethical and cultural. Each territory has its own vocation, it is unthinkable to continue growing hybrid vegetables that are the result of research done in laboratories that have nothing to do with the area in which the same hybrids will then be grown. The claim to impose valid crops all over the globe, at any latitude, is in fact impoverishing us by massacring the work done by Mother Nature and man over millennia, ”they say.
Tomatoes, potatoes and more
Since 2012, the two have had over 7 different varieties, including 1200 types of tomatoes.
"We have 20 varieties of eggplant, 200 of chillies and peppers, 30 of potatoes, 15 of peas, 15 of snow peas, 30 of broad beans, 10 of chickpeas, 100 of melons and then pumpkins, a vine made up of almost 20 varieties of different grapes ".
All fruits of an extraordinary nature that does not need fertilizers and pesticides.
“The farmer is invited to use these seeds from multinationals, because they guarantee yield and also European funding, to the detriment of quality” says Valerio.
"A farmer does not set up on his own because he is a slave to a supply chain from which he cannot free himself: if I produce many tomatoes, the processing company has a machinery that is formatted only for certain precise sizes of 5 varieties of tomatoes (the same seeds as multinationals). The fertilizers and the trays, the machines for encapsulating the seed have always been set up for those few lucky elite varieties in the hands of Monsanto and Syngenta. The whole agricultural world is built on those few species in the hands of multinationals ”, says Angelo.
Through the exchange of seeds, however, this routine can be put in crisis, even if the problem is the legislation:
“If you have a lot of money, you register the varieties, you invent one in the laboratory and you register it in the national and European registers. However, this method catches small growers who can't afford to spend a lot of money to patent their small strains and waste time waiting for this goddamn patent. Not to mention the documents, studies and research, the legal documents to attach to solicit approval ".
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