Fighting for food

Farmers are putting their lives on the line in the struggle to grow our food. Ben O’Hanlon, Senior International Programmes Officer (Food Justice) at War on Want, explains. This article was first carried by New Internationalist and later by  War on Want 

This 17 April is the 20th annual International Day of Peasants’ and Farmers’ Struggle. It is also a solemn reminder of the risks that millions of farmers face in their seemingly innocuous ambition to simply grow and sell food.

Twenty years ago, on 17 April 1996, 19 farmers, members of the country’s Landless Workers’ Movement, were killed in the Brazilian state of Pará as they tried to occupy an unproductive ranch near Eldorado dos Carajás. Military police opened fire on the protestors, resulting in one of the worst massacres of modern Brazilian history. Two more farmers died from their injuries in the following days, and hundreds were seriously injured.

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The Right to Food Sovereignty – public peasant consultation

2016-04-15-ECOS Rurals PosterFB_EN.pngConference invitation

Eco Ruralis Association together with partners, have the pleasure to invite you to the Conference for The Right to Food Sovereignty – public peasant consultation – on 24 April, 2016, starting at 11:30 am, at the Conference Center of the National Statistics Institute of Romania (Libertății Bvd., no. 16, sector 5, Bucharest).

It will be the first time that Romania hosts a Food Sovereignty event, putting peasants in the center of decisions for the future of farming and food.

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UAWC concluded the second phase from "Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Program"

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-04-11-UAWC_Project.jpg(Ramallah, April 4, 2016) the Union of Agricultural Work Committees concluded the second phase from "Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Program" (DEEPII). Which is targeted 60 families from the governorates of Tulkarm, Qalailia, and Salfit through small income-generating projects.

The UAWC's project Coordinator, Mohamed Yassin, confirmed that the project aims at improving the standards of living for Palestinian families by supporting the economic growth for the targeted families, and reducing the unemployment rate, thus, improving the standards of livings in the Palestinian society, pointing out that the project began in February 2015 and continues to the end of the month of April 2016.

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When there is an advance in food sovereignty in one part of the world, our entire movement advances

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_016-04-04-Uniterre1.jpg(Harare, March 21st, 2016) Nearly ten years ago, a forum was held in the village of Nyéléni at Sélingué in Mali which brought together over 500 people from more than 80 countries representing organisations of: farmers and peasants; traditional fisherpeople; native peoples; rural workers; migrants; landless people; pastoralists; forest communities; women; youth; and consumer, environmental, and urban movements. At the forum, they drafted the Nyéléni Declaration, which made a clear restatement of the principles of food sovereignty and highlighted the importance for everyone to work for a world where “food sovereignty is considered a basic human right, recognised and implemented by communities, peoples, states, and international bodies.” 

During the years since the Nyéléni Forum, there have been a number of efforts to have food sovereignty recognised at various levels. But it has been very difficult to ensure that the interpretations of food sovereignty in these official texts reflect its true meaning.

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