Did You Know That Peasants Produce More than 70% of Global Food?

Almost a billion people, one in nine worldwide, live with chronic hunger, but the solutions are not what we are led to believe - more food, more industrialisation, more GMOs, more global trade agreements. Rather, it is the small scale polycultural food systems that will be most effective.

Today, October 16, is World Food Day - a day of action against hunger. What could you do to help raise awareness locally and take personal action?

I'll be making the most out of my permaculture garden abundance - collecting and processing the most flourishing seasonal foods and collecting open pollinated seeds to plant, eat and share. I am also writing this post to share with you in the hope that you will share it on.

Control over seeds must remain in peasants' hands," La Via Campesina.
(Photo: Tineke d’Haese/ Oxfam)

Did you know that:

But did you also know that:

"No-one should come and tell us how to produce our food". Elizabeth Mpofu of Zimbabwe is General Coordinator of the international peasant movement of La Via Campesina, a coalition of 164 organizations in 73 countries around the world, representing about 200 million peasant, landless, indigenous, and other farmers.

What's the difference? Food security or Food Sovereignty

La Via Campesina, the global peasant movement which represents 200 million peasants in over 70 countries, prefers to celebrate today as World Food Sovereignty Day. Food sovereignty differs from food security.

Food Sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through sustainable methods and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.  

Food security is more focussed on the provision of food for all by whatever means necessary, whether by local production or global imports. Economic policies concerned with food security tend to emphasise industrial farming and the production of more cheap food, rather than a diversity of good local food. 

In this process, peasant seeds (free, locally adapted open-pollinated seeds) are often made illegal. Polyculture and biodiversity is replaced with monocultures. Land grabbing from peasants, particularly in the majority world countries, is done to “feed 9 billion people by 2050” even though it has been shown that the small scale polycultural farms are far more productive and abundant, and central to addressing poverty and hunger.

It's not just old peasants either who are calling for this. Young women calling for change at La Via Campesina's Youth Forum.

More reading (just a small selection):

http://www.forumsyd.org/PageFiles/1216/The%20race%20for%20land.pdf (land grabbing)

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