Fwd: News Release: Yet another UN report calls for support for peasant farming and agroecology

Simon Fairlie chapter7 at tlio.org.uk
Mon Sep 23 20:19:50 BST 2013

Apologies for cross-posting.

> From: "ETC Group" <ETC_Group at mail.vresp.com>
> Date: 23 September 2013 18:53:11 BDT
> To: chapter7 at tlio.org.uk
> Subject: News Release: Yet another UN report calls for support for   
> peasant farming and agroecology
> Reply-To: "ETC Group" <reply-3dcf9f8e43-4d6a365db8- 
> ae9e at u.cts.vresp.com>
> [ click to view this email in a browser | forward this message ]
>  News Release
> 23 September 2013
> GRAIN | La Vía Campesina | ETC Group
> Yet another UN report calls for support for
> peasant farming and agroecology: it's time for action
> La Vía Campesina, GRAIN and ETC welcome a new UNCTAD report which  
> states that farming in rich and poor nations alike should shift  
> from monoculture towards greater varieties of crops, reduced use of  
> fertilizers and other inputs, greater support for small-scale  
> farmers, and more locally focused production and consumption of  
> food. More than 60 international experts contributed to the report,  
> launched last week.
> UNCTAD's 2013 Trade and Environment Report ("Wake up before it is  
> too late: make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security  
> in a changing climate") states that monoculture and industrial  
> farming methods are not providing sufficient affordable food where  
> it is needed, while causing mounting and unsustainable  
> environmental damage.
> This is the line of argument that Vía Campesina, GRAIN and the ETC  
> group have been advocating for over twenty years. They contributed  
> chapters to the UNCTAD report and have now created a joint  
> partnership to advance agroecology and peasant farming as  
> alternatives.
> Over the past few years, we have seen a steady flow of high level  
> reports from the UN system and development agencies arguing in  
> favour of small farmers and agroecology. International recognition  
> that this is the way to solve the food and climate crisis is  
> clearly building, but this has not been translated into real action  
> on the ground where peasant farmers increasingly face  
> marginalisation and oppression.
> “Long before the release of this report, small farmers around the  
> world were already convinced that we absolutely need a diversified  
> agriculture to guarantee a balanced local food production, the  
> protection of people's livelihoods and the respect of nature. To  
> achieve this goal, the protection of the huge variety of local  
> seeds and farmers' rights to use them is paramount. As small  
> farmers, we are struggling to preserve our own indigenous seeds and  
> knowledge of farming systems,” said Elizabeth Mpofu, general  
> coordinator of La Vía Campesina.
> Evidence is mounting that the industrial food system is not only  
> failing to feed the world, but also responsible for some of the  
> planet's most pressing social and environmental crises. “The  
> industrial food system is directly responsible for around half of  
> all global greenhouse gas emissions, as we showed in our  
> contribution to the UNCTAD report,” says Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN.  
> “We cannot solve the climate crisis without confronting the  
> industrial food system and the corporations behind it. We should be  
> turning to peasant based agroecology instead.”
> Pat Mooney of the ETC group adds: “The corporate food chain uses  
> about 70-80% of the world's arable land to produce just 30-40% of  
> the food we eat. In the process peasant farmers, the real food  
> producers, get thrown off their land and tremendous environmental  
> harm is done. This is clearly not the way to feed the world”
> It is time to translate policy documents into real action and  
> governments at all levels (from local authorities to international  
> bodies) are responsible for taking the right decisions in this  
> regard. We call upon the international community to join us in the  
> struggle for food sovereignty, to resist the corporate control of  
> our food system, and to support peasant farmers and other small  
> scale food producers to feed the world.
> For more information:
> Elizabeth Mpofu, La Vía Campesina, +263772443716, ezimmpofu at gmail.com
> Henk Hobbelink, GRAIN, +34933011381, henk at grain.org
> Pat Mooney, ETC Group, +16132412267, mooney at etcgroup.org
> Notes:
> * Vía Campesina is the global movement of peasant farmers  
> struggling for food sovereignty. GRAIN and ETC Group are  
> international organisations that fight the industrial food system  
> and support peasant based alternatives. They have joined forces in  
> a partnership to advance peasant based agroecology.
> * UNCTAD is the United Nation's Conference on Trade and  
> Development. The 2013 Trade and Environment Report can be  
> downloaded from: unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ 
> ditcted2012d3_en.pdf
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