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On the hardscrabble, treeless highland plain that joins Peru with Bolivia, farmers have eked out an existence for thousands of years amid bitter winters and the harsh sun, at 4, metres above sea level and higher. Resembling an ornate garden maze from above, suqakollos - or waru-warus - are a patterned system of raised cropland and water-filled trenches. Alipio Canahua, an agronomist working with the Food and Agriculture Organisation FAO , says that the ancient agricultural system, which could date back 3, years, actually creates its own microclimate.