- Published on Monday, 13 April 2015 20:35
An important achievement from the International Year of Family Farming which the UN declared in 2014, in the context of the food crisis, has been to amplify the debate between agribusiness and peasant agriculture, which the symbiosis between the former and big media had practically silenced.
At the official level, for example, FAO General Director José Graziano da Silva, in his opening speech at the 24th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) in Rome (September), declared that policymakers should support a broad array of approaches to overhauling global food systems, making them healthier and more sustainable while acknowledging that “we cannot rely on an input intensive model to increase production and that the solutions of the past have shown their limits”... Calling for a “paradigm shift”, he said that today's main challenges are to lower the use of agricultural inputs, especially water and chemicals, in order to put agriculture, forestry and fisheries on a more sustainable and productive long-term path.[i]
- Published on Friday, 20 March 2015 17:51
For immediate release
Zimbabwe, Harare, 18 March 2015 – “Agroecology is political; it requires us to challenge and transform structures of power in society. We need to put the control of seeds, biodiversity, land and territories, waters, knowledge, culture and the commons in the hands of the peoples who feed the world,” according to the declaration of the International Forum of Agroecology.
More than 200 people took part in the forum, held in Nyéléni, Mali, from February 23 to 27, representing organizations of peasants, indigenous people, agricultural workers, artisanal fisherfolks, and nomadic pastoralists, as well as consumers and other urban people. They met to develop joint strategies to promote agroecology and defend it from corporate co-optation.
The declaration, available in English, Spanish and French, calls for an immediate transformation based on truly agroecological food production by peasants, artisanal fishers, urban farmers etc. “Agroecology was always essential to humanity, because it builds autonomy for the food producers and provides a strong base for food sovereignty,” says the document.
The participants warn that “agroecology is at a crossroads.” They note that “many multilateral institutions, governments, universities and research centers, some NGOs, corporations and others, [have] finally recognized agroecology. “But, they continue, "they have tried to redefine it as a narrow set of technologies, to offer some tools that appear to ease the sustainability crisis of industrial food production, while the existing structures of power remain unchallenged.”
They call this the “co-optation of agroecology to fine-tune the industrial food system, while paying lip service to the environmental discourse”, and note that this has various names, including “climate smart agriculture”, “sustainable-“ or “ecological-intensification”, industrial monoculture production of “organic” food, etc. For them, “these are not agroecology: we reject them, and we will fight to expose and block this insidious appropriation of agroecology.”
- Published on Wednesday, 11 March 2015 09:23
Fellsmere and Florida City, Florida, United States of America - 12 - 16 February 2015
We are 55 people from 19 organizations from 4 countries - the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, and we are of the following origins: Mexican, Mexican-American, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Chilean, African American, Native American, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Canadian, and North America. We are farmer workers, family farmers and peasants, and technicians from member organizations of Via Campesina, as well as allies from other farmers' organizations, NGOs, students and academics, interpreters and other supporters.
We gathered in the Campesinos’ Community Gardens in Fellsmere and Florida City in Florida from the 12th to the 16th of February 2015 to undertake the First Encuentro ( or Meeting) of Campesino to Campesino Agroecology in the North American region of Via Campesina. This Encuentro, jointly organized by member organizations of Via Campesina North America, the Farm Workers Association of Florida (FWAF) and the Rural Coalition, has made possible an exchange of knowledge and collaborative learning which included sharing traditional wisdom, respect for Mother Earth, and stimulated the vital contributions of women and youth.
- Published on Wednesday, 04 March 2015 14:52
27 February 2015
We are delegates representing diverse organizations and international movements of small-scale food producers and consumers, including peasants, indigenous peoples and communities (together with hunters and gatherers), family farmers, rural workers, herders and pastoralists, fisherfolk and urban people. Together, the diverse constituencies our organizations represent produce some 70% of the food consumed by humanity. They are the primary global investors in agriculture, as well as the primary providers of jobs and livelihoods in the world.
We gathered here at the Nyéléni Center in Sélingué, Mali from 24 to 27 of February, 2015, to come to a common understanding of agroecology as a key element in the construction of Food Sovereignty, and to develop joint strategies to promote Agroecology and defend it from co-optation. We are grateful to the people of Mali who have welcomed us in this beautiful land. They have taught us through their example, that the dialogue of our various forms of knowledge is based on respectful listening and on the collective construction of shared decisions. We stand in solidarity with our Malian sisters and brothers who struggle – sometimes sacrificing their lives – to defend their territories from the latest wave of land grabbing that affects so many of our countries. Agroecology means that we stand together in the circle of life, and this implies that we must also stand together in the circle of struggle against land grabbing and the criminalization of our movements.