Mala and Omas Valley, Peru
Juan Carlos Chumpitaz
As a MESA Steward at Morning Song Farm in 2006, Juan Carlos Chumpitaz was introduced to two hand-held weeding tools that he had never used before: the stirrup sickle and wheel sickle. He realized that this non-chemical weed control system could be put to use in the fields of his home country. After returning to Peru, Juan Carlos began to work with MESA alumni, Alfredo Villegas and Mauro Chumpitaz, teaching these sustainable agricultural techniques to small farmers and forming the Mala and Omas Valley Association of Organic Producers (APROMAG). As part of this project, Juan Carlos manufactured twelve sickles. He conducted two sessions for the community demonstrating the tools as part of an organic weed control system. On one hectar of land, Juan Carlos and the APROMAG farmers produced corn, radishes, carrots, and beets that were sold at a local organic market in Lima. Then, the tools were donated to the community. Juan Carlos reports that 73 people benefited from the project.
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