Food Sovereignty – The Real Prize

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by George Naylor, Iowa farmer and former board president of the National Family Farm Coalition, guest blogs about the upcoming 2012‚ Food Sovereignty Prize.

The World Food Prize was established by Dr. Norman Borlaug, an Iowa native considered to be the father of the Green Revolution, which centered on the laboratory breeding of cereal crops that could increase yields through the application of artificial nitrogen fertilizer without lodging (falling down).

According to the World Food Prize Foundation:

The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing — without regard to race, religion, nationality, or political beliefs — the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. By honoring those who have worked successfully toward this goal, The Prize calls attention to what has been done to improve global food security and to what can be accomplished in the future.

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La Via Campesina in the Committee on World FoodSecurity: Investments needed for small scale farming, not for agribusiness

Media Advisory

(Rome, October 11, 2012) A delegation of women and men farmers members of theinternational peasant's movement La Via Campesina will attend the 39th Session ofthe Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in Rome from October 15 to 20 in orderto defend small scale sustainable farming as the best way to feed the world'spopulation.

Some companies and policy makers still claim that agribusiness offers a solution toworld hunger. A recent article by Suma Chakarabarti and Jose Graziano da Silva,respectively heads of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development andthe FAO, calling for large private investments in agriculture even talks about“fertilizing land with money” (Wall Street Journal, September 2012).

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The Via Campesina stresses the need for public policies for rural areas

Press release – the Via Campesina

(Mexico, October 3, 2012) More than 100 peasant farmers, both men and women, from over 30 countries came together in Mexico City on September 28th – 30th, 2012 in order to discuss public policies for food sovereignty and to receive concrete proposals on the issue.

In a context of a crisis of capitalism and a new wave of neoliberal privatisation, public policies do not always contribute to structural changes that benefit society. However, for the peasant organisations present, the fight for public policies at all levels is an important step towards improving rural living conditions and ensuring that peasant farmers are able to produce healthy and sufficient food for their communities and their countries.

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2012 World Food Sovereignty Prize: La Via Campesina congratulates the Korean Women's Peasant Association

Press release – La Via Campesina

Watch the prize ceremony on livestream at 7pm EST on October 10

(Jakarta, October 5, 2012) The international farmers movement, La Via Campesina, congratulates its member organization, the Korean Women's Peasant Association (KWPA), for being selected to receive the fourth annual Food Sovereignty Prize on October 10, 2012, in New York City. This event, hosted by WhyHunger and co-sponsored by the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance and allies, champions the grassroots groups that practice and defend the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture policies.

The Korean Women's Peasant Association is a national organization of women farmers based in Seoul, South Korea, that has developed the practice of food sovereignty within the framework of women’s rights. The industrial food system has resulted in structures and systems that harm women in ways ranging from devaluing women’s work feeding their families to corporate patenting of seeds developed over generations by women farmers to lower wages and forced labor. South Korea is a male-dominated society and a highly industrialized country, with less than seven percent of the population employed in agriculture. Farmlands are quickly making way for growing cities, the government has signed far-reaching free trade agreements and corporations are taking over the agricultural industry.

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