Margarita Marcelina Neira de Vilca


  Margarita is 75 years old and is one of the oldest cooperants. She only has the energy to farm half a hectare of quinoa these days. Her crops too, are pilfered by the ever more present birds. Luckily her field is next to her home so she can sit out with a catapult to scare them away, but she says as soon as she goes in for lunch they come back! She is delighted that the coop has managed to buy a lorry this year. It will avoid her having to take her crop to the plant and she can just load it up straight from her warehouse. She has 7 kids. She remembers in the 80s government agronomists arrived and persuaded all the farmers to spray their crops with chemicals. They didn’t notice any increase in yields, and found that their potatoes and quinoa lost much of their taste. She is happy that the approach has changed in the last 10 years and there has been a return to organic farming.