News, Analysis and research on Land Reform and Agrarian Change around the world
Nature 479, 472–473 (24 November 2011)
Simply giving people food is not enough to prevent famine, says Peter Rosset. Instead, we need to overhaul the policies that have upended the food supply.
Sélingué, Mali, 17 November 2011 – Today, more than 250 participants, mainly representatives of farmers’ organisations, from thirty different countries gathered in Nyéléni Village, a centre for agro-ecology training built in a rural area near Sélingué, in Mali, to participate into the first International farmers’ conference to stop land grabbing.
We, women and men peasants, pastoralists, indigenous peoples and their allies, who gathered together in Nyeleni from 17-19 November 2011, are determined to defend food sovereignty, the commons and the rights of small scale food providers to natural resources.
The draft National Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement (NLARR) Bill-2011, which has been put in the public domain, has started drawing criticism from various quarters, especially from farmers.
Two papers analysing the recent experience of Latin America, and Cuba in particular, support arguments that a shift from industrial-large scale farming to small-scale farming can bring environmental, economic and political benefits.
In March 2011, Olivier de Schutter, the UN Rapporteur for the Right to Food released a report: “Agro-ecology and the right to food” before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Based on an extensive review of recent scientific literature, the report demonstrates that agroecology, if sufficiently supported, can double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty.
12-20 June 2011
Sam Moyo The author is grateful for the research support provided by Ndabezinhle Nyoni, Walter Chambati, Charity Dangwa, Kingstone Mujeyi and Dumisani Siziba. Funding from the Norwegian Embassy and CIDA enabled the research. The author would also like to thank the very helpful anonymous reviewers.