October 16: La Via Campesina celebrates World Food Sovereignty Day, demands real solutions to end hunger

Press Release - La Via Campesina

Today on October 16, 2013 La Via Campesina celebrates the world food sovereignty day. People around the world will carry out actions to celebrate the need of a people's food system. The global peasants' movement will make its voice heard loud and clear reaffirming that peasants- led agro-ecology is the real solution to global hunger. Not only do peasant farmers feed communities, they also cool the planet and protect mother nature. Unlike agribusiness, peasants do not treat food as a commodity for speculation profiting out of hunger. They do not patent nature for profit, keeping it out of the hands of the common man and woman. They share their knowledge and seeds, so everyone can have food to eat. On this day, La Via Campesina reminds society and governments that if we really want to put an end to hunger, then we must accept the central role of the peasants, and support them to feed humanity.

The 16 of October became the world food day to commemorate the founding of the FAO, the UN body whose mandate is to end global hunger and malnutrition. The theme chosen this year to celebrate this event is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. This is indeed a recognition that unsustainable food systems will not lead to a future free from hunger. Yet governments, under the pressure from business interests, continue to promote unsustainable farming and false solutions to hunger. La Via Campesina argues that GMOs, agrofuels and land grabbing by private corporations, which are being promoted by governments around the world in fact increase hunger.

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Gaining support for the peasant's way - La Via Campesina at UN's leading food security institutions

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_foodsovereigntyfao_LVC_infaoscaled.JPG“Reforms at the level of international institutions like the CFS must be seized to advance the cause of peasants and family farmers. In truth no policy whether at the national or international level truly takes into consideration the interests of this group, so its up to us to say what we need”- Ibrahim Coulibaly, president of the National Confederation of Peasant Organisations (CNOP) of Mali

There is some excitement in La Via Campesina about recent developments at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). On Oct 4, 2013 the Director General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva formalized the relationship between the two organizations through an agreement on collaboration, recognizing La Via Campesina as the most important voice of small food producers worldwide. This is yet another welcome step in a series of ongoing reforms of the FAO, which have created a unique and unprecedented space to collaborate with civil society and democratize the arena of global food policy. La Via Campesina has diligently engaged with these reforms to promote food sovereignty.

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FAO will cooperate with La Via Campesina

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People have the right to land and seeds to produce healthy food, and practice food sovereignty!

La Via Campesina Call

October 16 - Global Day of Action for Food Sovereignty

La Via Campesina calls for international support for the Global Day of Action for Food Sovereignty, this coming October 16, the same day that FAO celebrates as World Food Day. The peasant movement affirms that it is only possible to end the global food crisis and hunger through food sovereignty and agro-ecological production.

Current economic policies hinder the development of peasant agriculture and favor agribusiness. Today, the expansion of agribusiness around the world has caused market speculation and food price volatility, destroying people’s food sovereignty, increasing insecurity. 

In this sense, La Via Campesina affirms that the only way out of this food crisis is to end the agribusiness model, and neo-liberal policies which expel peasants from their territories, and drive a process of forced de-peasantization of the countryside. They also cause land grabs, corporate control of our seeds, destruction of biodiversity, and have generated hunger and misery around the World.

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