Brazil launches the Agroecology Plan

Brazil launches the Agroecology Plan and Organic Production. It was announced by the President Dilma Rousseff the 17 October, during the Second National  Conference on Sustainable Rural Development, in Brasilia.  The Plan aims to coordinate policies and actions for an environmental-friendly agriculture and the organic food production, with an initial investment of 8.8 billion allocated to 125 initiatives all over the country.

This is the result of an intense  dialogue  between the government and civil society representatives gathered in the national committee that was established by presidential decree in 2012 in order to develop the Plan.

Just one day prior to the announcement, the Ministry of Agriculture, in Brasilia was occupied by  the protest of the Brazilian farmers demanding “global action on food sovereignty” as part of World Food Day celebrations.
Although civil society proposals have not been fully included in the final version of the document,  there is a general consensus on the fact that the Plan marks an historic moment, an important step foward in the direction of a more sustainable peasant agriculture, especially in a country such as Brazil where the agribusiness model still keeps on maintining a great influence on government policies, due to its economic importance.

 See also:

 

Brasil Agroecológico. A video produced by the Brazilian governemnt for the launching of the Plan.

 

 

 

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Sustain Agricultural Biodiversity. Special issue of ECO

To mark World Food Sovereignty Day, 16 October,  the CBD Alliance at CBD/SBSTTA 17 has published a special issue of ECO with a focus on agricultural biodiversity, seeds, Farmers’ Rights. This issue has articles contributed by authors from Europe, Iran and North and South America, covering a wide spectrum of aspects concerning the conservation, use and abuse of agricultural biodiversity. You are welcome to share with your networks.
[email protected]

For more on the CBD Alliance and to find other issues of ECO goto www.cbdalliance.org . For more on SBSTTA17 goto ENB – www.iisd.ca/biodiv/sbstta17/

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Food security and Nutrition: HLPE 2013 Reports

The High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition has officially presented its 2013 Reports in front of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) stakeholders, in June 2013. The two reports Investing in Smallholder Agriculture and Biofuels and Food Security are now available here.

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European Coordination Via Campesina for the defence of family farming and small-farmers

Press Release, 17 April- Fuerteventura. From 15th to 17th April, ECVC, a European association of small-farmers that brings together 27 farming bodies from 17 countries across Europe, including outside the EU, held its annual General Assembly in the Canary Islands, Spain. One of the Outermost Regions of the European Union, it is not only where Rafael Hernandez, president of Coag Canarias and outgoing member of the management team, grows his crops but also where Mario Cabrera Gonzales, President of the Government of the Island of Fuerteventura, has declared his intention to develop food sovereignty by promoting local production and autonomy.

This is a goal shared by ECVC, and represents a real challenge at a time when the CAP, currently under reform, has come under attack from agribusiness and defenders of major European farming, who are opposed to any change. The CAP offers little hope to the organisations represented by ECVC despite their considerable contribution to the institutional debate, aimed at defending small and medium-scale farmers, the majority of whom are based in the EU. Poverty and unemployment is exacting a rising toll on citizens as a result of the European crisis, which starkly demonstrates the limits of the liberal dogma at work. We must stop destroying farming jobs and instead enable more rural businesses. Achieving access to quality food for all in Europe requires a large number of farms, sustainable production methods and a physical shift in food supply chains.

Rather than long speeches and matters of protocol, a series of lively debates allowed setting the following strategic axes for the the organisation’s activities over the year ahead :

• Promoting agroecology – which values farmers’ specialist knowledge and contains far more than agronomic techniques – by ensuring that this term is not taken over and robbed of its social aspects.

• Strengthening the Food Sovereignty movement (already composed of many different organisations following the 2011 Forum in Austria) which is working with small-farmers’ organisations to change food supply systems and release them from the stranglehold of the agro-industrial food model that is harmful to our health, the environment and the livelihoods of farmers, as well as the vitality of rural areas. This touches on a number of policy areas such as those relating to trade, where “free” trade agreements threaten the survival of family-based producers.

• Offering support to small- and medium-farmers on all levels, in particular by combating land grabs – which also affect Europe – and supporting rules and regulations that are accessible to small structures (rather than decimating them), by creating suitable channels for the sale of their produce and protecting the use and exchange of traditional small-farming seeds.

The vibrant assembly, which included many young farmers, elected 5 men and 5 women to the coordinating committee, who will take the project forward. Another step forward will be the year for Family Farming, which the UN has declared for 2014, when European Coordination Via Campesina will champion the values and demands of millions of small-farmers who are Family Farming.

An open debate, in the presence of a member of the European Commission and the President of the Government of the Island of Fuerteventura, highlights the future of small farms. In the words of Javier Sanchez, a representative of the ECVC, “We must show that it is we, the farmers, who feed our fellow citizens – and we have the right to receive fair prices and a decent income”. The AG is dedicated to all the victims of peasant struggles.

Contact :

ECVC Spokesperson : Genevieve Savigny : tel 0033625551687

ECVC Contact press : Marzia Rezzin : tel 0032 473300156

Source: http://www.eurovia.org/spip.php?article762&lang=fr

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Investing in smallholder agriculture. Open consultation

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) has published the V0 draft of the report  Investing in smallholder agriculture for food and nutrition security  and is currently seeking feedback and inputs to further elaborate the document.
Deadline for the online consultation has been extended until the 30 of January 2013. Contributions are welcomed in English, French and Spanish.

Download the V0 draft of the HPLE Report

Read more about the process and engage in the consultation
 

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Seeds of Freedom

A new 30-minute film produced by The Gaia Foundation and the Africa Biodiversity Network, in collaboration with MELCA Ethiopia, Navdanya International and GRAIN.

Narrated by actor Jeremy Irons, Seeds of Freedom is set to explode pervasive myths about agriculture, development and Africa’s ability to feed herself. At the heart of the film the story of seed and its transformation from the basis of farming communities’ agri-culture, to the property of agri-business.

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