Humberto Rios Labrada, Cuba
OWA Finalist 2012
Humberto discovered that the “industrial” plant breeding model rapidly destroyed the biodiversity and the environment in Cuba and thus he developed a completely different strategy. Already in his pilot projects he not only involved the farmers in the research but also enabled them to become plant breeders.
Strategy of grassroots activities
Humberto Rios Labrada im Austausch mit Bauern
The economic crisis in the wake of the collapse of the Socialist Countries forced him to raise needed funds by giving concerts. His strategy of grassroots activities also became an important element for the rural democracy movement.
Today, his network includes more than 50,000 farming campesinos of which 2,000 are actively seed breeding and/or propagating. While industrial agriculture had reduced the available bean varieties to only 5 varieties, about 200 bean varieties can now be found in the 120 seed banks that Humberto founded. Today, 70 rice varieties are once again available in Cuba and while the corn varieties in Cuba had dwindled to one variety only, farmers now have access to 40 different corn varieties.
Auf den Feldern wachsen inzwischen wieder viele alte Sorten