An emerging issue: Food sovereignty

November 18, 2010

From the Mercopress daily press roundup for Thursday Nov. 18, a straw in the wind. With the continuing collapse of US news media ‘s overseas coverage, sources like Mercopress and other internet news outlets become ever more important.

Family farming as the backbone to ensure countries’ “food sovereignty”

Representatives from Mercosur, Africa, China, India and multilateral organizations such as the United Nations called for the right to “food sovereignty”, thus preventing the international corporations from taking control of the seeds’ market.

“States must ensure food for all their peoples”, said Josefina Stubbs head of International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD during a seminar in Brasilia which convened farm experts from Mercosur, Africa, China and India.

Dominican born Stubbs said that support for small farmers’ cooperatives “is essential to impede the big international corporations from controlling the seeds’ market”.

The family farm model made up by small and medium sized undertakings has as its main condition the close and tight link between work and results, and farm owners that control the whole production and commercial process.

Several papers on family farming presented at the seminar by representatives from Brazil, China, India and South Africa insisted on the lack of governments’ support and public policies to ensure clean market conditions to trade production.

Francesco Pierri an expert from Brazil’s ministry for the promotion of agriculture said that family farming in his country encloses the majority of farmers with an estimated 4.5 million settlements.

Pierri added that “collaboration and coordination” among Mercosur members is “indispensable” to avoid competition and to increase small farmers initiatives.

Argentina’s Secretary for the Rural Development of family farming, Carla Campos pointed out that in some provinces and counties in Argentina, government policy is to purchase produce from small farmers to supply public schools dinning rooms.

“This helps small farmers to learn about market conditions and gradually have access to greater competition but also greater demand”, said Ms Campos.


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