Food Sovereignty and Trade
- Published on Thursday, 12 February 2015 13:55
(Germany, Teisendorf, January 21, 2015) On the afternoon of January 21, 2015, before the talk of small farmer Elizabeth Mpofu from Zimbabwe, general secretary of the international peasant organization “Via Campesina” and Co-founder of regional farmers-organizations, on the evening of the same day in the “Alten Post” Teisendorf, did freelance journalist Alois Albrecht have the chance to do an interview with Mrs. Mpofu about themes other than those, that she would cover in her talk in the evening. The questions had to do, not only with the country in South-East Africa, but also with the general situation of small-farmers in other African countries.
Q. Mrs. Mpofu, how was land in Zimbabwe distributed, after the removal of the white minority government of Ian Smith?
- Published on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 16:13
(Berlin, Germany, January 20, 2015) Speech of Elizabeth Mpofu, General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, in front of 50000 people at the we are fed up demonstration
My dear friends!
It is a pleasure and an honor for me to be here today in Berlin for this « We are fed up » demonstration. This was such a powerful march!! My name is Elizabeth Mpofu, I come from Zimbabwe, and I am the general coordinator of the international peasant movement called La Via Campesina. I am myself a small-holder farmer. As small farmers in La Via Campesina, from all over the globe, we are calling for Food Sovereignty, meaning, among other things, that we want and we need local food – and not industrialized and standardized food: we need a good quality food produced through indigenous agroecological farming systems, that respect life and the environment. Agroecological farming is the solution to climate change! And not climate smart agriculture!
- Published on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 16:47
La Via Campesina visits Douro small wine growers in solidarity with their struggle against exploitation by traders
(Porto, Portugal, 25 November 2014) On November 24th, 2014, following meetings of the LVC International Coordinating Committee (ICC) and the International Operative Secretariat (IOS), a La Via Campesina delegation, comprising 87 participants from 25 countries, visited vineyards owned by family farmers in the demarcated region of the Douro district. This field visit was organized by Confederação Nacional da Agricultura (CNA) and guided by one of its member organisations, AVIDOURO, an association of small wine growers.
According to La Via Campesina member organisation CNA, an association representing Portugese small to medium farmers, the biggest share of the subsidies paid in Portugal, about 70%, is received by only 5% of the farms. The remaining 30% is shared by the other 95% of farms, of which small and medium farms constitute the majority. Small and medium farmers, on the other hand, are heavily taxed.
- Published on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 20:15
For the marketing and selling of local Palestinian cooperatives’ products
The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) launched Bas Baladi outlet store for the marketing and selling of local Palestinian cooperatives’ products, in the presence of The District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam, Ministry of Agriculture Representative Mr. Ibrahim Iktishat and a number of officials, partners, civil society representatives, women cooperatives and farmers. The activity is within SULALAH project. The Project is funded by the European Union (EU) as part of the Food Security Program in the occupied Palestinian territory. It is implemented by UAWC in partnership with Gruppo di Volontariato Civile (GVC), the Palestinian Hydrology Group for Water and Environmental Resources Development (PHG), Qatar Charity, LaoreSardegna, Jericho’s Cooperative Association for Livestock Production and Altamerh’s Cooperative Association for Livestock Development.
The District Governor of Ramallah and El-Bireh Laila Ghannam and UAWC's General Director Khalid Hidmi pointed at the importance of supporting the productive cooperatives especially the women cooperatives and market them to support the local products and boycott the Israeli goods. The manager of SULALAH project Grace Odeh emphasized that the activity aims to open new markets for the Palestinian farmers' cooperatives that were objected to several production trainings in order to produce according to the Palestinians quality standards. Odeh also highlighted that UAWC has supported many agricultural and livestock cooperatives in marketing their products in local, regional and international markets in the past years.
- Published on Wednesday, 05 November 2014 20:31
Rome, October 27th, 2014
Inspired by the contributions of the Italian political activist Antonio Gramsci, on the basis of a pessimistic analysis and an optimistic approach to action, we made the following observations:
- National and international Capital has launched an offensive to take over and privatise natural resources (Biodiversity, Water, Oxygen etc.) This offensive is mainly focused on mining installations and hydro-electric and nuclear power plants, all of which cause very serious problems - such as the destruction of the biomass, climate change, and evictions - as well as impinging directly upon the sovereignty of countries and of peoples.
- Seeds have been privatised and turned into commodities. Genetically modified plants, together with their accompanying toxic chemical inputs that poison and kill our peoples and the natural world, have been forced upon us.
- Published on Monday, 03 November 2014 15:01
By Julia Burke (Original article published by The Progressive)
October 27th, 2014
Ali Abd El Rahman has been in the United States for only a few days, but it’s the longest he’s ever lived without having to go through a military checkpoint.
El Rahman lives in Jerusalem, and as a Palestinian, his actions, resource use, transportation, and work are under Israeli government control. He doesn’t even have a legal passport; the Israeli government issues Jerusalem Palestinians travel documents that require a lot of explanation when he attempts to cross international borders.
- Published on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:58
(Zimbabwe, Masvingo, Otober 20, 2014) Food sovereignty as a concept is under debate by various actors in the academia, activists and governments. The focus has been on its meaning and implications, some of which is still contested by some actors. This year a “Critical Dialogue on Food Sovereignty” was held at the Hague in January, attended by various actors to debate this important concept. It’s various outcomes have been published recently by the Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS), of which some of the articles are freely available (http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/toc/fjps20/41/6) though for a short time.
According to Elizabeth Mpofu in her opening speech (Via Campesina at the colloquium “Food Sovereignty: a critical dialogue”) at The Hague, she said that “We are not trying to create the perfect definition, for a dictionary or for a history book but we are trying to build a movement to change the food system and the world”. This has been the case with farmers at Shashe, where food sovereignty, it various pillars, is alive. The farmers have over the years developed ways to make food sovereignty a reality. These farmers produce adequate food for own consumption, the surplus traded locally, value addition processes are underway and are trying to remove the chains of dependence on agro-inputs by adopting agroecology.