Via campesina celebrates 25 years of resistance in defense of

The organizations that make up Via Campesina Internacional commemorated, this Saturday (16), the 25 years of the global struggle for food sovereignty. The meeting, held online, brought together various peasant, small-scale fisheries, traditional communities and different sectors of society, to provide a brief history of the work done in recent decades. In addition, they collected positions and ideas to outline a plan for future activities.

It was Via Campesina that coined the principle of “food sovereignty” in 1996, during the World Food Summit held in Rome by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the aim of overcoming the concept of “security food” promoted by governments and which, in the understanding of peasant movements, favors the interests of agribusiness more than those of the peoples.

In Saturday’s activity, the entities highlighted the urgency of fighting hunger and guaranteeing food sovereignty in an equal way for all societies.

The focus of Via Campesina’s activities is to strengthen, in the world, the fight against agribusiness and the food industry model, marked by the exploitation of natural resources and of male and female workers.

This predatory combination, in the view of the movements, is responsible for the spread “of hunger, poverty, discrimination, migration in the countries of the Global South, but also in the central countries”.

Via Campesina also released a manifesto this Saturday (16), in defense of food sovereignty, defining it as “a philosophy of life and a current and concrete political proposal in view of the food, social and environmental crisis that the world is experiencing”. In addition to the importance of the function of producing food, the international movement states in the document that it must “also guarantee healthy and poison-free foods that guarantee the health and life of humanity and nature. Generate fair relationships between producers, consumers and the environment, with public policies and clear rights for those who produce and feed, as contemplated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants”.

“All peoples of the world have the right to food. This is a condition for human survival. The UN, FAO, all international organizations recognize food as a right for all people, anywhere on the planet. However, there are millions of people who go hungry every day,” provoked João Pedro Stedile, from the International Assembly of Peoples and the Movement of Landless Rural Workers (MST).

Another leader to speak at the meeting was Elizabeth Mpofu, a small farmer from Zimbabwe and a member of Via Campesina, who pointed out the importance of investing in the transmission of knowledge to new generations.

“We will continue to exchange our experiences in supporting food sovereignty so that future generations have a knowledge base to continue building better societies. We will continue to fight. We want food sovereignty now. Let’s use this space to build food sovereignty. Let’s globalize food sovereignty. fight, let us globalize hope”, concluded Mpofu with the already historic slogan of the international movement.

hunger on a world scale

Via Campesina sets itself the task of fighting hunger and guaranteeing food sovereignty at the international level. Not only in Brazil are data on food insecurity serious. Report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) points out that, in 2020, 30% of the world population, around 2.3 billion people, did not have access to adequate food. For the same period, the report revealed that 12% of the world’s population, 928 million people, was in a situation of serious food insecurity, 148 million more than in 2019.

The debate on the 25 years of struggle for food sovereignty was part of the schedule of the International Day of Struggle for Food Sovereignty, which included the IV Meeting of Popular Movements with the Pope and, in Brazil, with the Conference against Hunger, which brought together movements to highlight the work of solidarity campaigns in the fight against hunger.

Edition: Mauro Ramos

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