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Farmer turns to methods passed down for generations to sustain crops during brutal heat waves: 'They have the ability to adapt'

"Through experience and knowledge, these seeds hold the solution."

"Through experience and knowledge, these seeds hold the solution."

Photo Credit: iStock

Amid the challenges of droughts and heat waves, Tunisian wheat farmer Hasan Chetoui is pioneering a solution deeply rooted in history. He's turning to ancient wheat varieties, sowing seeds from a time when resilience was a necessity.

Chetoui, based in the Borj El Amri area of northern Tunisia, finds himself in a crisis that echoes across much of North Africa. Years of drought have depleted reservoirs and devastated crops. To cope, Chetoui is looking to the wisdom of his ancestors, hoping that these old varieties will offer a lifeline in a time of crisis.

"We obtain an old Tunisian type of wheat, cultivated in the field, capable of producing multiple times a season, providing us with strategic solutions," Chetoui explained.

With the heating of the earth, traditional farming practices are being challenged and crop yields are shrinking. Chetoui's experiment signifies a shift towards resilience in agriculture. By diversifying his crops and embracing ancient seeds, he's betting on the adaptability of nature itself.

Agricultural experts may express skepticism, pointing to the higher yields of modern wheat varieties. But Chetoui remains undeterred, recognizing that the past holds valuable lessons for the future. His determination reflects a growing movement among farmers worldwide, who are reclaiming ancient practices in the face of rising global temperatures.

In Peru, farmers are using techniques that have been part of the region's heritage for over 10,000 years. This project has been a success story, nurturing 226 varieties of potatoes, along with other crops like corn, quinoa, oca, and more. The impact has been substantial, feeding 1,700 families across nearly 15,000 acres.

"We must rely on our original Tunisian seeds because, through experience and knowledge, these seeds hold the solution and can contribute to many strategic solutions in addressing food crises," Chetoui said.

Hussein al-Rhaili, an agriculture policy expert in Tunisia, echoes this sentiment, highlighting the adaptability of original seeds. "Original seeds are rooted in nature, rooted in the quality of the soil, and rooted according to the location, and they have the ability to adapt," he affirmed.

Chetoui's journey is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit — a reminder that even in the face of adversity, innovation and tradition can forge a path forward. As the world grapples with the challenges of a heating world, his story gives us hope and the wisdom of the past as we navigate an uncertain future.

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