SAT at International Congress Terra Madre

Terra Madre, created by Slow Food, gathers every two years in Italy bringing together food producers, fishers, breeders, chefs, academics, young people, NGOs and representatives of local communities who are working to establish a system of good, clean and fair food production. This year SAT had the opportunity to attend this event which is considered the biggest gathering in the field of agriculture on a world-wide scale.

SAT director Janet Maro with Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini
SAT director Janet Maro with Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini

Among the many topics tackled at Terra Madre, Slow Food presented their project “10,000 gardens for Africa’s future”. We took particular interest in this project which aims to serve as a tool to foster small-scale sustainable agriculture by sponsoring the creation of a garden to be tended by a family, school or local community. The aim of this project is to create 10,000 food gardens which will contribute to food security, food education in schools and promote biodiversity, valuing African gastronomic cultures and raising awareness about big issues like GMOs, land grabbing and sustainable fishing. To achieve this goal a handbook was created and disseminated through various trainings in different countries. You can find more information about the project and download the handbook in the link below:

Furthermore this year`s Terra Madre was joined by Salone del Gusto – the Ark of Taste transforming the event into a delicious experience. A global culinary village was set up including traditional tastes and flavours from 130 countries. Our director Janet Maro contributed to the food diversity of Terra Madre by introducing rare delicacies of some tribes in Tanzania, the African climbing spinach derega and the air potato nduu. Whilst the Waluguru people appreciate the taste of the derega spinach and still grow it in their homes, this variety is more and more forgotten. The nduu potato is commonly grown in the Kilimanjaro and Kagera regions and is a speciality of the Chagga people, who like it for it’s mild bitter taste. The ability to bear tubers in the roots and by the buds is a special feature of this variety, which is also known to have medicinal values.

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Janet Maro and SAT offspring Max, holding the Tanzanian spinach “Derega”

Being at Terra Madre encircled by all these people sharing our mission gave us new strength and energy for our work and moreover the certainty that there are many people out there, ensuring that our traditional and sustainable food systems are preserved and continue to be part of our daily lives.