Peasant-led food sovereignty gives life to agricultural biodiversity

Title Peasant-led food sovereignty gives life to agricultural biodiversity
Contributor Patrick Mulvany
Content What is it about?
ABSTRACT
Agricultural biodiversity is dynamically managed by smaller-scale food providers, who have co-evolved with their crops and livestock and agroecosystems over millennia. It encompasses not only the species directly harvested for food etc. but also all the support species that provide essential ecosystem functions, which support the productive environment.

Agricultural biodiversity increased over millennia with the movement of peoples across the globe. However, more recently with the rampant spread of the industrial production of commodities, livestock and fisheries, agricultural biodiversity is haemorrhaging.

Yet, it is the smaller-scale food providers – the world’s peasants – who provide nourishment for most people in the world through their biodiverse and ecologically-resilient production systems, developed in the framework of food sovereignty, who sustain agricultural biodiversity. Their production systems enhance agricultural biodiversity and enable it to adapt to changes in agroecosystems due to climate change and other threats.

This article calls for the breaking of the value chains which bind industrial producers to unsustainable and biodiversity-destroying production and consumption systems. It also calls for the protection of the rights of smaller-scale, biodiversity-enhancing food providers whose localised food webs developed in the framework of food sovereignty will continue to provide food for most people today and tomorrow as well as sustaining and enhancing agricultural biodiversity for future generations.

Why is it important?
Localised peasant production provides food for more than 70% of the world’s population. The agricultural biodiversity they dynamically manage underpins peasant agroecology and is regenerated by these ecologically-resilient production systems, developed in the framework of food sovereignty. Sustaining agricultural biodiversity is vital in confronting climate change and other threats and securing food supplies now and for future generations.

This article contributes to the awareness of the importance of the agricultural biodiversity and the key role that small-scale producers are playing in dynamically managing it – in situ, above and below ground and in waters – in their ecological production systems.

Year Published 2017
Language English
Link http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14888386.2017.1366872

Who Will Feed Us? The Industrial Food Chain vs the Peasant Food Web

Title Who Will Feed Us? The Industrial Food Chain vs the Peasant Food Web
Contributor ETC Group
Content Who Will Feed Us? is a data-driven report full of unexpected statistics that reveal a tale of two food systems. It upturns common assumptions about who feeds whom in a hungry world threatened by climate change.

Some highlights of the report:

  • Peasants (not food corporations) feed the world: 70% of the world’s population is fed by the Peasant Food Web, using only 25% of resources.
  • Industrial food production fails to feed: Only 24% of the food produced by the Industrial Food
    Chain actually reaches people – the rest is wasted in meat production inefficiencies; lost in transport, storage and at the household; and diverted to non-food products.
  • Industrial food costs us more: For every dollar spent on industrial food, it costs another 2 dollars to clean up the mess

The report is also available in Spanish and French

Year Published 2017
Language English
Link http://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/files/etc-whowillfeedus-english-webshare.pdf

Investissements dans l’agriculture durable à petite échelle

Title Investissements dans l’agriculture durable à petite échelle
Contributor More and Better
Content Ce rapport de 32 pages donne un aperçu de la situation mondiale des investissements dans l’agriculture. Il fournit des exemples de plusieurs pays et présente des recommandations pour des investissements futurs dans une agriculture durable à petite échelle.

L’objectif du rapport est de:
Augmenter les connaissances, la sensibilisation et les discussions sur les investissements dans l’agriculture durable à petite échelle parmi les organisations d’agriculteurs, les ONG, les institutions et les investisseurs travaillant dans l’agriculture, en particulier dans les pays en développement, ainsi que les décideurs et les institutions des pays de l’OCDE qui s’occupent de l’aide publique au développement (APD).

Contribuer à l’augmentation des investissements publics et privés dans l’agriculture durable à petite échelle.

Year Published 2017
Language Français
Link http://tinyurl.com/mabfrench

Unravelling the Food-Health Nexus: Addressing practices, political economy and power relations to build healthier food systems’

Title Unravelling the Food-Health Nexus: Addressing practices, political economy and power relations to build healthier food systems’
Contributor International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems
Content This report from the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES) reviews the latest evidence on the whole range of health impacts associated with food systems around the world to provide a full picture. It further examines the political economy of food systems: why evidence gaps persist, why negative impacts are systematically reproduced, and why certain problems are not politically prioritized.
Year Published 2017
Language English
Link http://www.ipes-food.org/images/Reports/Health_FullReport.pdf

Women, Agroecology & Gender Equality

Title Women, Agroecology & Gender Equality
Contributor Focus on the Global South
Content This booklet from Focus on the Global South, is intended to serve as a basic background resource for grassroots groups, to make links between gender and agroecology, and to understand agroecology’s potential to address gender inequalities.
Year Published 2017
Language English
Link https://focusweb.org/content/women-agroecology-gender-equality

Investments in small-scale sustainable agriculture

Title Investments in small-scale sustainable agriculture
Contributor More and Better
Content This 32 page report gives an overview of the global situation of investments in agriculture. It provides examples from several countries and present recommendations for future investments in small-scale sustainable agriculture.

  • The aim of the report is to:
    Increase knowledge, awareness and discussions about investments in small-scale sustainable agriculture among farmers’ organizations, NGOs, institutions and investors working in agriculture, especially in developing countries, as well as decision-makers and institutions in OECD-countries dealing with official development assistance (ODA).
  • Contribute to increased public and private investments in small-scale sustainable agriculture.
Year Published 2017
Language English
Link https://ag-transition.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Investments_in_agriculture_MaB_WEB.pdf

Agroecology and Sustainable Development

Title Agroecology and Sustainable Development
Contributor Caritas France
Content This report primarily focuses on agroecology projects and the views of Caritas France’s partners in the Global South. The wide range of practices is tailored to providing local solutions for sustainable agriculture in myriad different regions. All the initiatives are built on the principles of empowerment, action, resilience and integration of the social dimension.
Year Published 2017
Language English
Link http://www.secours-catholique.org/sites/scinternet/files/publications/sccf_agroeco2016_en.pdf

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food

Title Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food
Contributor Human Rights Council
Content The report was written by Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Hilal Elver, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes. In the report, a clearer account is provided of global pesticide use in agriculture and its impact on human rights; the negative consequences that pesticide practices have had on human health, the environment and society, which are underreported and monitored in the shadow of a prevailing and narrow focus on “food security”, are described; and the environmental and human rights regimes are examined to determine whether the constituent rules are sufficient to protect farm workers, consumers, and vulnerable groups, as well as the natural resources that are necessary to support sustainable food systems.

The report concludes with a set of important recommendations, which include – among the others – a call  to the international community to work on a comprehensive binding treaty to regulate and reduce the use of hazardous pesticides  taking into account human rights principles, the promotion of agroecology, the development of national action plans that support alternative sustainable practices.

Author/s Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Year Published 2017
Language English
Link https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/85/PDF/G1701785.pdf?OpenElement

Ending Hunger: What would it cost?

Title Ending Hunger: What would it cost?
Contributor International Food Policy Research Institute, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Content The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) joined forces to estimate what it would cost to end hunger, and the contribution that donors need to make. We consider that a country has achieved this goal when the number of hungry people is less than 5 per cent of the population.

Their findings show the goal is achievable and affordable. We found that it will cost USD 11 billion a year in additional public investment to largely end hunger in developing countries. Donors will need to provide USD 4 billion of the total—which is a 3 per cent increase on current aid levels.

Download report and presentation.

Year Published 2017
Language English
Link http://www.iisd.org/sites/default/files/publications/ending-hunger-what-would-it-cost.pdf

The future of food and agriculture: trends and challenges

Title The future of food and agriculture: trends and challenges
Contributor FAO
Content Are today’s food and agricultural systems capable of meeting the needs of a global population that is projected to reach more than nine billion by midcentury? Can we achieve the required production increases, even if this implies adding pressure to already dwindling land and water resources, and do so in a context of climate change? This publication tries to answer these questions.

What will be needed to realize the vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition?After shedding light on the nature of the challenges that agriculture and food systems are facing now and throughout the 21st century, the study provides insights into what is at stake and what needs to be done. “Business as usual” is not an option. Major transformations in agricultural systems, rural economies and natural resources management are necessary. The present study was undertaken for the quadrennial review of FAO’s strategic framework and for the preparation of the Organization Medium-Term plan 2018-2021.

Year Published 2017
Language English
Link http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6583e.pdf

Autonomy Africa Project

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Autonomy Africa Project

The transition to agroecology and food sovereignty in Tanzania and Mozambique. Conversations with Mviwata on peasant markets, and with UNAC on the contributions of peasant farming for society as a whole.

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Food Sovereignty of Peasants Essential to Sustaining Agricultural Biodiversity

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Food Sovereignty of Peasants Essential to Sustaining Agricultural Biodiversity

A new paper written by Patrick Mulvany, traces the roots of agricultural biodiversity, threats, benefits and how to sustain it. Agricultural biodiversity is the product of the dynamic management of species and ecosystems, especially by smaller-scale food providers, their families and communities, who have co-evolved with these species over millennia in all regions of the world. It encompasses the variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms which are necessary to sustain key functions of the agro-ecosystem, its structure and...

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Marracuene Agroecology Project

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About 70% of the population in the world get their food from small-scale food producers, small scale farmers, pastoralists, fishers, hunters and gatherers. Small-scale farming has been recognised as the key to ending poverty. The Marracuene Agroecology pilot, started in June 2015 in Mozambique. It is unique, sustainable and focuses on agroecological production, increasing the autonomy of local communities, putting farmers in the “driving seat” of decision-making. This video is a collaboration of  More and Better, Heidehof...

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More and Better: Sign on to the letter about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and agriculture

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More and Better: Sign on to the letter about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and agriculture

o the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) and all governments in the world More support for small-scale agroecological and other forms of sustainable agriculture is the key to reach many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) The organizations which have signed on to this letter urge all governments, the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), other UN- and financial institutions to increase the support for agroecology and other forms of sustainable agriculture for small-scale farmers, and to...

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Nyeleni Newsletter March 2017: Agriculture and Free Trade Agreements

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Nyeleni Newsletter March 2017: Agriculture and Free Trade Agreements

Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) hurt food sovereignty because they: – Erase the possibility of public strategies supporting local markets. – Lower or remove tariffs on imported goods, hurting local small-scale food producers who cannot compete with large subsidised agribusiness imports. – Harmonise standards on food safety, pesticides, GMOs and animal welfare benefitting corporations: the imposed lowest standards protect their profit margins. – Rewrite patent laws, requiring countries to privatise plants and animals; criminalise peasants...

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Seeds for Change: Community Seed Banks in Nepal

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Seeds for Change: Community Seed Banks in Nepal

Community seed bank has more than 20 years of history in Nepal. The main objectives of establishing a community seed banks are to halt the rapid erosion of local varieties and their on-farm management, improving local livelihoods and resilience through providing easy access to quality seeds of diverse crops and varieties at the local level and realizing farmers’ rights on seed. This video presents some cases of how community seed banks in Nepal supported by LI-BIRD in collaboration with various development partners are achieving the...

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An Introduction to Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS)

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This short video explains the basis of Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). It was designed as a trailer and short version of the documentary: A guide to Participatory Guarantee Systems for Organic Agriculture available to watch here The video was produced by IFOAM – Organics International with the financial support of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural cooperation (CTA). It includes interviews and scenes from the following PGS initiatives: N&P – Nature et Progres in France Rede Ecovida – Rede Ecovida de...

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Soil, Struggle and Justice: Agroecology in the Brazilian Landless Movement

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Soil, Struggle and Justice: Agroecology in the Brazilian Landless Movement

This film examines a cooperative of the Brazilian Landless Movement (MST) in the South of Brazil, which struggled for access to land and then transitioned to ecological agriculture, or agroecology. This MST cooperative is demonstrating the possibility of an alternative model of flourishing rural life, which provides thriving livelihoods for farmers, produces high quality and low cost food for the region, and rehabilitates the...

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Video: Investing in Agroecology

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This video features Angela Hilmi discussing about giving peasants access to financing by investing in their farm without resulting to indebtedness. Angela also talks about empowering peasants by giving them the freedom to choose the methods that they would want to employ which results to autonomy and not depedency. This video is a part of the presentations at the Online Congress of Agroecology in Brazil which took place from 27 June to 3 July 2016. For more information about the conference, please head to...

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The 1st Online conference on Agroecology

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The 1st Online conference on Agroecology

Agroweb launched the 1st Online International Congress of Agroecology, from 27 June to 03 July 2016. This is an unprecedented initiative in the Brazilian world. The program of the 1st AgroecoWeb consists of lectures addressing highly relevant issues, as well as a special course that will be offered in video lessons during the event, with experts in Agroecology from different countries and continents. Anyone interested in the subject can sign up and participate in the 1st AgroecoWeb for free. Click here for subscribing and see the list of...

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