Agroecology Meeting in Ghana from the 5th to the 11th of September, 2011

La Via Campesina Africa 2 Region

The strength of La VIA CAMPESINA is the richness of knowledge, convictions and visions of the peasant and small-scale farming world. In the framework of food sovereignty which  La VIA CAMPESINA has developed since  1996,  agroecology  is a key alternative to the neo-liberalism system that is destroy  the smallholder farmer’s way of life, even though for  centuries peasant farmers have fed the world, continue to do so toady, and will in the future. The alternative of agroecological peasant farming has been supported by a number of United Nations bodies like the FAO and   by Olivier de Shutter, the UN Special Reporter on the Right to Food. In fact, the main cause of hunger today, and of the impoverished of small-holder farmers, is the industrial farming system promoted by a handful of corporations and financial speculators. This dominant model is destroying the land, impoverishing farmers, and failing to adequately feed the world. The number of people suffering from hunger keeps growing even though there is sufficient food and even wasted and spoiled food. It is access to food that is causing problems, due to private sector speculation with food inventories that place food prices beyond the reach of poor consumers.

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American Continental Encounter of Agroecology Trainers in La Via Campesina

Final Declaration

The world is caught in a series of crises generated by the inherent greed of the capitalist system, characterized by control by Capital over natural resources. These include the food crisis and the climate crisis.

The fact that the number of hungry people in the world has risen from 800 million to one billion in recent years, coupled with the terrible famine in Somalia, shows us that the dominant corporate food system is unable to feed the world, while greenhouse gas emissions produced by the same agricultural model heat up the planet and threaten the Mother Earth.

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Shashe Declaration: 1st Encounter of Agroecology Trainers in Africa Region 1

12-20 June 2011

We are 47 people from 22 organizations in 18 countries (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Central African Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Portugal, USA, France, and Germany).  We are farmers and staff representing member organizations of La Via Campesina, along with allies from other farmer organizations and networks, NGOs, academics, researchers, interpreters and others.

We have been meeting at the Shashe Endogenous Development Training Centre in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe to plan how to promote agroecology in our Region (Southern, Eastern & Central Africa). Here we have been privileged to witness firsthand the successful combination of agrarian reform with organic farming and agroecology carried out by local small holder farming families.  In what were once large cattle ranches owned by three large farmers who owned 800 head of cattle and produced no grain or anything else, there are now more than 365 small holder peasant farming families with more than 3,400 head of cattle, who also produce a yearly average of 1 to 2 tonnes of grain per family plus vegetables and other products, in many cases using agroecological methods and local peasant seeds.  This experience strengthens our commitment to and belief in agroecology and agrarian reform as fundamental pillars in the construction of Food Sovereignty.

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Industrial Agriculture and GMOs are false solutions to the food crisis

Press release - La Via Campesina

Only peasant sustainable agriculture can feed Africa!

(Masvingo, 18th June 2011) - African farmers’ organizations, members of the International Movement of Peasants, La Via Campesina, and allied organizations denounce every attempt to adopt genetically modified organisms, GMOs, as being a false solution to the food crisis in Africa.

According to the farmers, all of the myths promoting GMOs as a “miracle” to increase productivity are false, as they threaten the genetic integrity of the local varieties that are the basis of African food security. Only organic food production, based on local knowledge and skills, can feed the continent, as diversified, agroecological farming systems actually produce more total food per hectare than does industrial monoculture. Furthermore, small-scale farmers and sustainable peasant agriculture are cooling down the Earth, because they do not engage in the greenhouse gas emitting practices of industrial agriculture.

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Additional information