The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) today launched a publication highlighting the huge potential of agroecology to feed Africa, fix broken food systems and repair damaged landscapes, providing abundant healthy and nutritious food sustainably while increasing incomes and improving climate resilience. The 88 page illustrated book showcases 15 case studies, showing how agroecology benefits Africa in terms of food and nutrition, livelihoods, restoration of biodiversity, knowledge and innovation, and climate change resilience.
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Concern about the environmental impact of industrialised farming through the use of pesticides and the destruction of the rainforest has even spread to Brazil’s famous Rio carnival. One of the most famous samba schools, Imperatriz Leopoldinese, will take part later this month in the all-night parade in Rio de Janeiro, singing and dancing to highlight the plight of the Amazon’s indigenous Xingu population, whose reserve is now completely surrounded by cattle and soy fields. The musical protest has aroused a furious response from the agribusiness lobby, which has accused the sambistas of denigrating their efforts to feed the population.
Guy Marius Sagna is the Coordinator of the National Coalition "No to EPAs" in Senegal. He discusses two free trade projects in Africa: Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). "These deals have been preceded by the IMF and the World Bank’s structural adjustment programmes that imposed liberalising our economies and opening our markets. It’s part of an international labour division scheme that makes our “underdeveloped” countries consumers of goods from other countries whose role is to produce those goods. The EPA reinforces this process, which will impoverish our countries even more".
The biggest drivers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission on the planet are industrial meats and dairy rather than transportation, says a new report. However, the rich countries, where these industries are mostly located, have been sidestepping these findings. Moreover, the meat industry lobbyists accuse poor and developing countries for it. The new report published by Spain-based international non-profit GRAIN in January this year claims that industrial meat production generates more GHGs than the world’s entire transportation sector. Due to the pressure from meat industry lobbyists, no meaningful action has been worked out to cut emission. The GHG emission has been causing rise in global temperature, which is perpetuating climate change. The target of reducing greenhouse gas emission to limit global warming to 2°C by 2050 can be achieved by cutting down industrial meat and dairy consumption.
Michel Buisson, Gérard Choplin, Priscilla Claeys and Gustave Massia | 01 February 2017 | food sovereignty
With Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, the rise of the extreme right in Europe and the increase in migration, there is an urgent need to intensify the cooperation between countries and their populations. Wars, climate change, the depletion of natural resources, poverty, hunger and malnutrition, but also the increase in inequalities, are all fundamental problems that humanity must seek to resolve together. This cannot be done without questioning both the current neoliberal globalization, and the xenophobic and nationalist orientations that are opposed to economic globalization while protecting and defending their own interests.
From 21-25 November 2016, about 50 people, involved in struggles to defend the territories, forests and livelihoods of forest-dependent communities, came together in Thailand for a field visit to the Northeast of the country, followed by a 3-days meeting in Bangkok. Besides a delegation from Thailand, other participants came from Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and India. The aims of the gathering, which focused on the central question of What´s happening to our forests?, included promoting exchange and dialogue on old and new threats and challenges faced by communities in the different countries.
The stringent intellectual property rules being pushed for adoption by some RCEP members will have an adverse effect on the livelihoods of small and traditional farmers in poorer member states, warns Shalini Bhutani. The concerns of ordinary citizens in countries negotiating the RCEP are therefore not misplaced. Those RCEP members taking a more cautious approach on expanding IP rules will be under pressure to go beyond their currently TRIPS-compliant domestic laws. These governments will need to stay strong for their small farmers and peasant cultures, in view of the potential adverse effects of TRIPS-plus norms on the seed sector.
By breeding their own seed, farmers are able to create varieties that are suitable for their specific regions and climates, helping them cope better with the increasing shifts, experts say. Zimbabwe is unlikely to ratify a treaty that could strip small farmers of the right to breed and plant their own seed, at least for the time being, The Herald Business reveals.
As a new year dawns, it is hard not to be dazzled by the current pace of technological change in food and agriculture. However, there is a risk that these technologies blind us to the very real problems facing modern agriculture – problems that are rapidly undermining the previous round of technological advances. Crop-breeding innovations are merely a short-term solution for falling yields. Only agricultural diversity can ensure food security and resilience. An excellent reflection by Olivier De Schutter and Emile Frison.
In order to receive development assistance, Tanzania has to give Western agribusiness full freedom and give enclosed protection for patented seeds. “Eighty percent of the seeds are being shared and sold in an informal system between neighbors, friends and family. The new law criminalizes the practice in Tanzania,” says Michael Farrelly of TOAM, an organic farming movement in Tanzania.