Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Chiloé Agriculture




Site location Chiloé Island, Chile

Area of GIAHS: -

Population working for this system: -

Topological Characteristics: moderate acidity

Climatic Classification: cold temperate conditions

Ethnic Groups/Indigenous People: -

Primary Income Sources: agriculture

Archipelago of Chiloé in Chile is an unique in-situ reserve of many species underlying the invaluable farmers’ work for millennia. It has been considered the home of many species of endemic flora and fauna in danger of extinction, being its biodiversity of global importance.

In the past rural women have carried out biodiversity conservation activities in the small plots of their family vegetable gardens. Having the potato as much importance for the maintenance of the life in these remote islands of Chile, it is not surprising that related to their culture and great variety of uses ancestral social practices, beliefs and mythology were developed, many of which in the dawn of the third millennium are still in use.

Traditionally Indigenous communities and farmers of Chiloé cultivated native varieties of potatoes which went from 800 to 1,000, before the agricultural modernization. Indeed, there has been a generalized erosive process of the genetic materials which has resulted in a reduced amount of varieties in the most isolated zones of the archipelago.