Via Campesina at the colloquium “Food Sovereignty : a critical dialogue”

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_foodsovereigntyfao_elizabeththehaguescaled.jpg(The Hague, 24 January 2014) A fundamentally contested concept, food sovereignty has — as a political project and campaign, an alternative, a social movement, and an analytical framework — barged into global agrarian discourse over the last two decades. Since then, it has inspired and mobilized diverse publics: workers, scholars and public intellectuals, farmers and peasant movements, NGOs and human rights activists in the North and global South.

Last January 24, various representatives of La Via Campesina took part in a colloquium organized in The Hague to discuss the concept of Food sovereignty. Elisabeth Mopfu, as general coordinator of La Via Campesina was invited to give a speech at this Yale Conference on Food Sovereignty attended by many academics, researchers and specialists, from universities around the world.

You can read the speech of Elisabeth Mopfu here.

IFAD’S Investments should strengthen family, peasant and indigenous farming as well as public policies for Food Sovereignty

Press  Release – La Via Campesina


(Rome, 18 February 2014) A large delegation of peasants and farmers from the international farmers' movement La Via Campesina has met in Rome at the fifth global meeting of the Farmers' Forum, that was jointly arranged by organizations representing farmers and small-scale fishers and by the IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development). We, members of the delegation, call on the governments that are financing IFAD with public money to give a better direction to IFAD's programs and projects so as to support the peasant and agro-ecological agriculture that constitutes an answer to the food and climate crises. Every day on our family farms, it is we who are the major investors in our agricultural production. We feed the vast majority of the world's population, and yet 80% of hunger still occurs in rural areas. For these reasons, we ask for a substantial increase in public investment in this area and the implementation of policies that facilitate increased investment by peasants and family farmers themselves.

By participating in the Farmers' Forum, La Via Campesina also aims at obtaining from IFAD the effective implementation of the decisions taken by all of the governments of the world at the 40th session of the CFS (Committee on World Food Security), including the decision to develop, together with peasants' and farmers' organisations, at the national level, a vision and a strategy for investment in the farming sector.

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October 16: La Via Campesina celebrates World Food Sovereignty Day, demands real solutions to end hunger

Press Release - La Via Campesina

Today on October 16, 2013 La Via Campesina celebrates the world food sovereignty day. People around the world will carry out actions to celebrate the need of a people's food system. The global peasants' movement will make its voice heard loud and clear reaffirming that peasants- led agro-ecology is the real solution to global hunger. Not only do peasant farmers feed communities, they also cool the planet and protect mother nature. Unlike agribusiness, peasants do not treat food as a commodity for speculation profiting out of hunger. They do not patent nature for profit, keeping it out of the hands of the common man and woman. They share their knowledge and seeds, so everyone can have food to eat. On this day, La Via Campesina reminds society and governments that if we really want to put an end to hunger, then we must accept the central role of the peasants, and support them to feed humanity.

The 16 of October became the world food day to commemorate the founding of the FAO, the UN body whose mandate is to end global hunger and malnutrition. The theme chosen this year to celebrate this event is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. This is indeed a recognition that unsustainable food systems will not lead to a future free from hunger. Yet governments, under the pressure from business interests, continue to promote unsustainable farming and false solutions to hunger. La Via Campesina argues that GMOs, agrofuels and land grabbing by private corporations, which are being promoted by governments around the world in fact increase hunger.

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Gaining support for the peasant's way - La Via Campesina at UN's leading food security institutions

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_foodsovereigntyfao_LVC_infaoscaled.JPG“Reforms at the level of international institutions like the CFS must be seized to advance the cause of peasants and family farmers. In truth no policy whether at the national or international level truly takes into consideration the interests of this group, so its up to us to say what we need”- Ibrahim Coulibaly, president of the National Confederation of Peasant Organisations (CNOP) of Mali

There is some excitement in La Via Campesina about recent developments at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). On Oct 4, 2013 the Director General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva formalized the relationship between the two organizations through an agreement on collaboration, recognizing La Via Campesina as the most important voice of small food producers worldwide. This is yet another welcome step in a series of ongoing reforms of the FAO, which have created a unique and unprecedented space to collaborate with civil society and democratize the arena of global food policy. La Via Campesina has diligently engaged with these reforms to promote food sovereignty.

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