16 October, Call to Action: No Food Sovereignty Without Peasants’ Rights!

Call to action

(Harare: October 11, 2019) La Via Campesina and its allies around the world celebrate the International Day of Action for Peoples’ Food Sovereignty and against Transnational corporations on 16 October each year.

We celebrate this day to remind people that it is only possible to end hunger in the world with food sovereignty and peasant agroecology.

Current economic and agricultural policies only perpetuate the food crisis and the destruction of biodiversity, promoting agribusiness and expelling peasants from their territories. The direct result of these policies is land grabbing and seed control by a handful of multinationals, which flood international markets with uniform, toxic and nutritionally poor food products while increasing poverty in rural areas.

Food sovereignty allows the peoples of the world to design their own agri-food policies, by promoting the production and distribution of peasant products to local markets, according to the demands and needs of the populations, while respecting the environment and the rights of peasants and consumers.

We celebrate this day as global climate change intensifies and manifests itself more and more, hunger has been on the rise since 2018 affecting hundreds of millions of people, especially in rural areas.

The perpetrators of this crisis, we call multinational corporations, convert suffering and human lives into money and drive rural populations to despair. The world is seeing the violations of human and peasant rights that these companies commit: dispossession of land, contamination of water, looting of resources and land, poisoning of food with agrotoxics, and even the murder of peasant and indigenous activists and leaders. We have seen them burn Amazonia and forests in Africa. We have seen how a private court overturned the Ecuadorian court’s decision against the oil giant Chevron, responsible for an environmental disaster in the country’s Amazon region, and then the IMF just imposed an austerity policy on the Ecuadorian people.

We, peasants, men and women, indigenous peoples, rural populations, agricultural workers, in urban and rural areas, have long been claiming that we have the solution. Food sovereignty is able to cool the planet and bring relief to the climate crisis. Peasant agroecology is able to end famines, feed urban and rural inhabitants with healthy food, feed the soil with organic matter and preserve biodiversity.

The international peasant movement has fought for almost two decades for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Others Working in Rural Areas since full respect for peasants’ rights eliminates the conditions that allow the exploitation, repression and displacement of hundreds of millions of peasants and rural populations and saves them from poverty.

Major mobilisations of social movements and citizens are also taking place all over the world in October.

We join all initiatives against the power of multinationals and for the food sovereignty of peoples. We will be in Geneva in the process of the United Nations Binding Treaty on Multinationals and Human Rights to demand the rights of peoples and an end to impunity for multinationals. We will be in Rome to propose our solutions to the Committee on Food Security. We will also be in Palestine, at the International Conference for Food Sovereignty.  We will be everywhere with young people mobilised against climate change. We will say everywhere that agroecology and food sovereignty are the way not only to solve these crises, but also the way to prosperity in cities and the countryside.

This October 16, we call for action by organised social movements, unions, universities, the media and people’s governments that prioritise their peoples. We call for increased pressure to enforce farmers’ rights and for public policies based on food sovereignty and not on the interests of the global market and agribusiness. There can be no food sovereignty without respect for peasant rights. There can be no food sovereignty without agrarian reform and social justice, organise actions in the territories, denunciation mobilisations, forums, seminars, farmers’ fairs, film screenings,  all expressions are important to demand the implementation of peasant rights through land reform and social justice.

Send us all the actions planned for this day to our address lvcweb@viacampesina.org, we want to make them visible on our global action map. Also send us articles, audio, photos and videos of all the actions to be published on our website and on ViaCampesinaTV.

Follow us on our social networks:

#FoodSovereignty, #PeasantsRightsNow, #LaViaCampesina

Let us globalize the struggle, let us globalize hope

We feed our peoples and build the movement to change the world!