On January 18th, 2023 representatives of La Via Campesina will participate in the Young Farmers Forum (YFF) in Berlin. This forum is part of the “Global Forum for Food and Agriculture” (GFFA), an international conference on global food systems organized by the German Ministry for Food and Agriculture, which brings together every year in Berlin some 70 international ministers of agriculture. The GFFA will start on the 18th and resume on the 21st of January.
During four days about 20 young farmers from all over the world will participate in the YFF and GFFA. This will allow rich discussions between young farmers on their experiences and concerns in a context of multiple crises that intersect and reinforce each other, in order to develop and propose demands. Tyler Short of Family Farm Defenders (FFD-USA) and Chengeto Sandra Muzira (ZIMSOFF-Zimbabwe) along with Inka Baumgart from AbL (Germany) will bring the voice of La Via Campesina and share our points of view and perspectives into the discussions. In particular, they will make sure that peasants’ rights, peasant agroecology and food sovereignty are included in the common declaration that will come out of the YFF.
In parallel, from January 16 to 21, the Alternative Green Week is organized by German civil society organisations, in which our representatives will also participate. The paralell program, which has been held for 10 years at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, will allow exchanges on questions of agricultural and food policies. Especially in the context of the accelerating climate crisis, the discussions will focus on the link between agricultural production and the climate crisis.
Finally, on January 21, two participants of the YFF will present their common declaration to the international agriculture ministers conference. Over 60 ministers have so far confirmed their attendancy this year. Also Michael Fakhri, the Special Rapporteuer on the Right to Food, has confirmed his participation.
In parallel to the international agriculture ministers’ conference, La Via Campesina’s member organisation, Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL), and its broad alliance of some fifty farmers and civil society organisations will hold street actions in Berlin. The “We are fed up” manifestation will take place. LVC’s youth will participate in this demonstration to bring their demands and to be heard. The demonstration will stop in front of the international agriculture ministers conference, where the German Agriculture Minister, Cem Özdemir, will go out of the official conference to meet and talk to the farmers.
Chengeto and Tyler will resume the week of activities in Germany with two exchanges with the young AbL, one in Eberswalde on January 23 and the other on the following day in Witzenhausen.