This study characterises the food system of six communities in the Tikuna-Cocama-Yagua indigenous reserve in the municipality of Puerto Nariño, Amazonas Department, Colombia. The Tikuna, Cocama and Yagua peoples’ food system is based on farming, fishing, hunting and gathering. Using ancestral knowledge, they cultivate a great diversity of species without chemical fertilizers, both in chagras – the diversified productive system – and gathered from the forest, which are amongst the foods generally consumed by families. However, half the average income comes from the sale of surpluses from agriculture and fishing, allowing families to purchase products they do not produce themselves. Additionally, some people are engaged in different activities such as tourism, crafts and construction work. Their diet is based on a variety of foods including fruits, fish, meat, vegetables, grains and, to a lesser extent, some dairy products. Nevertheless, they identified changes in the diet as a result of a rapid and unplanned integration of the Indigenous Peoples’ food system into the market economy. Although the production of food in chagras has remained the primary activity for the provision of food along with fishing and hunting, these activities have undergone significant changes with respect to the techniques and products introduced, such as seeds, and nylon and hunting nets.
“Producing our food is inherited from our parents, it is respect for nature and its future children.”Community member and participant to the thematic discussions in Puerto Nariño.