The debate over food is polarized. In the diplomatic world, hunger is more often discussed in terms of food security. Grassroots movements, on the other hand, are more concerned with food sovereignty as they aim at empowering small-scale farmers. Continue Reading
April 17th – Day of Peasant’s Struggles. Source: La Via Campesina.
La Via Campesina, also known as the Peasants’ Movement, stands for 200 million farmers globally, including small and medium-size farmers, indigenous people, women farmers, landless workers, migrants and agricultural workers. It represents 164 organizations from 73 countries, according to its website.
Women produce 70% of the food on earth, but they are severely marginalized, making gender equality an important issue when talking about the rights of small-scale farmers.
More than two thirds of the world’s people are dependent for their food on small-scale farmers, who use only 30% of the world arable land, according to the article written by World Development Movement’s policy officer, Christine Haigh. However, most small-scale farmers struggle to establish their rights to use and manage land, water, seeds, livestock and biodiversity.
The global food crisis, and thinking beyond two dimensional farming
75% of the world’s poor live in rural areas and are involved in farming. Proponents of agroforestry – an indigenous farming technique – believe it is an affordable way to improve food security for individual farmers without creating dependency on large corporations for farming inputs.
Now finding its way into more development strategists’ toolkits, agroforestry can increase crop yields and livestock health on farms sustainably and inexpensively. It could make it easier for impoverished farmers in the third world to improve their livelihoods, gain food security, health benefits and increased incomes.
Agroforestry involves deliberately incorporating trees and shrubs into fields of other “low or medium-storey” crops. Certain types of trees replenish soil, while others produce fruit or animal fodder (coarse food for livestock composed of entire plants). Continue Reading