- Published on Thursday, 22 October 2015 15:49
La Via Campesina's electronic newsletter, September 2015 edition, is now available. Many articles in this newsletter highlight the various outcomes of meetings on Seed Treaty and international declaration on the rights of peasants held at FAO and UN Human Rights Council respectively. Other articles highlight on-going campaigns against many forms of injustices and policy bias against small family farms and peasants. Various actions organised for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations on the 16th October are also captured. On this day, La Vía Campesina issued a call, and together with GRAIN launched also an interesting video “Together, we can cool the planet!” on how the agroindustrial food system impacts our climate, and what we can do to change course. Included in this newsletter are two interesting publications: the first Nyeleni edition one region explores the relation between Food Justice and Food Sovereignty in the United States; and the report of the International Forum for Agroecology presents the small scale food producers’ first ever common vision on agroecology for Food Sovereignty to Governments assembled at the Committee on World Food Security. Download the newsletter, read and share it! Globalize the Struggle! Globalize Hope!
- Published on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 19:31
(Harare, October 20, 2015) Women from the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) continuously fight to reclaim and use traditional seeds, and break dependence on commercial seeds. As the world celebrated the World Food Day on the 16th, the international peasant movement, La Via Campesina, on this day, called on its members and allies, and civil society organizations to mobilize and organize actions for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs). In response, ZIMSOFF organized its member farmers on the 16th and 17th October, to participate in a dialogue and festival respectively where the focus was on traditional food and seeds. They shared the plight faced by many small farmers, particularly women and youth under the current climate and hunger crises.
Over 12 smallholder farmers (from four ZIMSOFF clusters: northern, eastern, western and central) participated in the festival. These farmers, of which 8 were women, were selected from the best farmers, the winners, at ZIMSOFF cluster food and seed fairs, to represent their clusters at the national level. The cluster food and seed fairs were held in August and September this year. They brought their own seeds and processed farm produce to showcase at the national festival. They brought also seeds and processed farm produce randomly selected from other cluster members.
Tendai Chidhakwa, a smallholder farmer from the eastern cluster of ZIMSOFF participated at the just ended traditional and organic food and seed festival held a day after the World Food Day. According to Tendai Chidhakwa "traditional and farmer saved seeds are not bought but exchanged among the farmers and thus are important in building a stronger food sovereignty. Farmers without money can have seeds to grow and feed their families". With regards to nutrition she said “African traditional seeds are nutritious and good for our bodies; they improve our health.”
- Published on Tuesday, 20 October 2015 17:03
(Harare, October 19, 2015) Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) participated in the 2015 Traditional and Organic Food and Seed Festival held in Harare on October 17th. Over 12 ZIMSOFF farmers participated in the festival to showcase farmer saved seeds, and to exchange information with other farmers and create awareness among urban consumers on traditional foods and seeds. Memory Mutema, a young woman farmer from Chieha Smallholder Farmers Organisation in the eastern cluster is one of the farmers who participated this year. She grows small grains to feed her family and to earn an income. "Small grains are an important food crop," says Miss Mutema.
In Zimbabwe, women play a key role in ensuring household and national food sovereignty. They produce over 70% of diverse agricultural food crops consumed nationally. Small grains are part of these food crops. They don’t require the use of agro-chemicals and fertilisers and most are drought resistant. Thus small grains are considered an ideal food crop to build resilience as we adapt to a changing climate.
- Published on Friday, 16 October 2015 23:54
(October 16, 2015) - On October 16, 1945, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was founded in Quebec City. World Food Day commemorates the occasion by celebrating the FAO’s mission to promote international cooperation to combat hunger, rural poverty, disempowerment and public apathy regarding these issues.
“World Food Day serves as a reminder of our international commitment to work toward world-wide food security and social justice for food producers,” said Jan Slomp, National Farmers Union (NFU) President. “Canada hosted the first FAO meeting. Today, seventy years later, Canada has taken a great leap backward with the current government’s support for trade deals like CETA and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- international treaties that, if ratified, will do irreparable harm to Canada’s food system and prevent future governments from building a more just and ecologically sound approach to food and agriculture.”