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.

Most families today are fed by small-scale food producers. This small-scale food production is responsible for the high levels of food and nutrition security wherever it is found within rural and urban communities in Africa. Wherever hunger is present, we can be sure that small holder farmers have been displaced and their production undercut by bad policies.

The African farmers gathered for seven days in the Zimbabwean province of Masvingo to debate the advantages of agroecology, in contrast to industrial agriculture and GMOs. Promoted by transnational corporations, both industrial agriculture and GMOs change local food production systems for the worse, which have been the base of food production for many centuries in Africa. Industrial agriculture both produces less, and what is does produce is exported, and thus does not help build food sovereignty in Africa.

“We are more than clear that GMOs are very dangerous for people´s health as well as for biodiversity. No one will trick us. We reject them totally”, said Renaldo Chingore, member of the African Coordination of La Via Campesina.

Small-scale farmers of Africa are determined to fight against AGRA as well as Monsanto and other organizations that are practicing “food grabbing”.

La Via Campesina calls on national and regional organizations not to facilitate the introduction of GMOs into their areas. Instead, they should unite in order to have strong voice in defense of food sovereignty and small holder farming.

To interview LVC spokespersons in Africa, contact:

  • Susuma Susuma Msikula – ( +255754652773)
  • Boaventura Monjane – ( +258822605010)