Peasant-led food sovereignty gives life to agricultural biodiversity

What is it about?
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. Read more

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

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

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Investissements dans l’agriculture durable à petite échelle

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.

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

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.

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Women, Agroecology & Gender Equality

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.

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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food

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.

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Climate Adapted Villages – Ethiopia

Climate adapted villages (CAV) is the Development Fund’s method for local climate adaptation. It if focused on food production and natural resource management. This report is a review of the CAV method and how it has been implemented in Ethiopia.

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Tackling Hidden Hunger. Putting Diet Diversification at the Centre

The scourge of “hidden hunger” or micronutrient deficiency affects around two billion people worldwide who lack adequate intake of vitamins and minerals in their diet. While several international and regional initiatives are underway to combat malnutrition, and specifically micronutrient deficiency, these have largely focused on the approaches of nutrient supplementation and food fortification at the expense of dietary diversification, considered the most durable solution to hidden hunger. Read more

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Agroecology: key concepts, principles and practices

Recognizing the urgent need for capacity building in agroecology the Third World Network organized training courses to equip key actors with a comprehensive understanding of the principles and concepts of agroecology and to provide evidence of success through illustrative examples. This booklet describes the main learning points from the training courses held in Indonesia (2013) and in Zambia (2015)

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