Nutrition is not for profit: Second International Conference on Nutrition

(Rome November 20th, 2014)

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_foodsov_nutrition-rome.jpgLa Via Campesina and URGENCI, jointly with other Social movements, gathered in Rome for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), where Member States of FAO and WHO are discussing and adopting a framework for action on nutrition. This event, organised jointly by FAO and WHO, is happening 22 years after the first ICN, 22 years in which no improvements have been made by the international community; 22 years in which the private sector has captured nutrition as a business opportunity to provide a never-ending list of  “nutrient-enriched” and GMO pseudo-solutions to consumers. Transnational corporations have no place in trade agreements or our food systems!

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Shashe Smallholder Farmer Organisation (SFO): a true centre of agro-ecology

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_manure_for_agroecology_2014.JPG(Zimbabwe, Masvingo, October 20, 2014) Zimbabwe Small Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) represents smallholder farmers practicing organic agriculture in Zimbabwe, a practice promoted through participatory ecological land use planning and management, and encourages value addition to uplift the welfare of members. The organization has about 19,000 smallholder farmers organized in four clusters, namely the western, eastern, northern and central. These clusters are made up of 64 Smallholder Farmer Organizations (SFOs) which nurture dynamic alliances. Shashe SFO, where the Agroecology School is located, is under the central cluster. Shashe farmers are beneficiaries of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe in 2000. They are part of the 380 official land beneficiaries resettled in 2000 at the Shashe block of farms, which covers about 15,020 hectares. Of this area, about 23% was allocated for residential and arable purposes, the rest is grazing. The area is generally dry, receiving about 400mm of annual rainfall, and has deep soils (sandy loams, red clays and a mixture of the two). It was mainly used for ranching by the former white farmers. The new farmers have broadened the land use as they are now producing both crops and livestock

At Shashe farmers employ various agroecological practices to ensure food sovereignty, mitigate climate change effects and reduce dependence on bought-in agro-inputs thus retaining farm income within the family’s purse. These practices include the use of organic manure, mulching, minimum tillage, multiple cropping, exchange and use of traditional seeds and open pollinated varieties, among others.

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The future of family farming is in our hands

ecologist%20pic%202014.jpgHolly Creighton-Hird (Original article posted on www.theecologist.org)

19th October 2014

Family farming is a hot topic this year. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. And last week, family farming was the focus of World Food Day 2014.

Of course there's is no guarantee that a family farm is well-run or sustainable. But the best farms - those that best preserve traditional food and culture, contribute to balanced and culturally appropriate diets, maintain agricultural biodiversity and use natural resources sustainably - tend to be family farms.

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Mozambican Peasants vs. the Great African Land Grab

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_sustainableagriculture_woman-unac-moz.jpgMaputo -- With a shimmering coastline stretching for more than 1,500 miles along the Indian Ocean, heartland game parks rivaling the Serengeti and a cornucopia of natural resources -- located mostly in land used by humble farming communities -- Mozambique is getting quite a lot of attention these days as one of Africa's most upcoming investment hubs and in vogue destinations. Investors have not wasted any time in carving out their stake in the country two decades into the relative stability following a 16-year civil war on the heels of independence.

The cash-strapped Mozambican state technically owns all of the land within its borders, offering leases that are renewable up to 99 years to foreign governments and corporations for agribusiness or extractive industrial megaprojects.

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