“We are delighted and honored that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has agreed to host the conference and will be present for part of it.”
It was 2001. Agricultural producer Roberto Peiretti was going through his personal mail and in one of the mails he found a letter. Opening the document, he was struck by the coat of arms of the British royal house on the left margin of the page. He never imagined finding an invitation to speak at an event sponsored and promoted by then-Prince Charles, the current King of the United Kingdom. Even less than two months later -in the same room where on Saturday he became monarch after the death of Elizabeth II-, he was going to talk to him for more than 15 minutes.
It was so in January of this year He boarded a flight to London and then to the sovereign’s private residence, the Palais Saint James. The objective: take part in the meeting entitled “Reducing poverty and increasing food security through sustainable agriculture”, organized by the University of Essex and the British government’s Department for International Development (DFID), and sponsored by the current monarch.
“The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways to reduce poverty around the world and improve food security through conservation agriculture, what they call the no-till system in Europe.commented Peiretti, who is one of the pioneers of direct seeding in the country, which involves not removing the soil, and a founding member of the Argentine Association of Direct Seeding Producers (Aapresid). In addition to being a producer, he is an advisor to agricultural companies around the world.
Peiretti He recalled that on that day, January 15 of that year, he spent the whole day inside the palace, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The day started early with speakers from different countries, he was one of them. They each gave presentations on how they worked at home, some of which had the prince as a listener. the king now He entertained conference attendees with a cocktail reception in the same room where he delivered his first speech as a monarch last Saturday.
Although he had already been with him during the day, Peiretti asked if he could have a personal conversation with who Carlos III is now. “I asked if I could speak to the prince, they said yes, so he came over and we talked,” he commented, adding, “The prince was very interested in knowing in depth how we produce in Argentina. We spoke for more than 15 minutes. From what I told him, he was asking me to deepen everything that he was interested in knowing”
“He had a more organic vision of agriculture, respectful of the environment. I therefore insisted a lot on the advantages of the direct seeding system, how it could produce more and better, preserving the environment, improving the soil, with more efficiency and productivity,” said the producer, who was accompanied by his wife Cintia. Castagnino and his daughter María Marta, who were also present at the closing of the day.
“I told him that we use all modern science-based technologies, including biotechnology. I also spoke to him in more detail about what we were doing in the country and the progress made in improving agriculture in the country,” he added.
“He listened to me very carefully. The data caught his attention. and the concepts behind the no-till system. This triggered a series of concerns and the demand for clarification of our productive reality,” he said.
Likewise, the grower said the meeting “had an impact” and “raised the attention of participants” on the levels of adoption of the no-till system that was already in the country at that time.
The system, used on 90% of the sown areas, is based on three main pillars or principles: the absence of tillage or removal of soil; keep soils covered with stubble or crops and use the most varied crop rotation possible. It is an environmentally friendly approach.
“It was an extraordinary opportunity to review the realities of the world in terms of food production, food security and sustainability, as well as the close relationship that exists between these issues and the socio-economic and cultural issues of the different scenarios where the man develops his vital activity. Peiretti remembers the encounter he had.