lunes, octubre 20, 2014

Devon Peña on the Africa-U.S. Food Sovereignty Summit

Photo by Alex Garland. Courtesy of CAGJ    

Moderator’s Note: Last week, I was fortunate to host some of the participants in the Africa-U.S. Food Sovereignty Strategy Summit organized by theCommunity Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ) as part of the AGRA-Watch campaign. This vitally important project monitors and reports on the Gates Foundation and its Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The Summit was held on October 10-14 in a Seattle union hall with a packed public Town Hall meeting on October 12.

One of the Summit participants was Dr. Daniel Maingi of Growth Partners Africa and the Food Rights Alliance in Kenya. He graciously agreed to visit a class I am teaching on the anthropology of food. Dr. Maingi explained the need for recognition and support of community-based local action-oriented research by African farmers seeking food sovereignty.

Like the other participants in this important meeting, Dr. Maingi’s approach emphasizes the need for a shift to an agroecology paradigm, an approach in which smallholder farmers lead research and development projects that emphasize local place-based knowledge of native plants, heirloom crops, and other organisms in diverse polyculture farming systems. The agroecology paradigm – increasingly embraced by scientists and policy makers around the world – marks a great contrast to the chemically-addicted monocultures that are characteristic of the biotechnology path promoted by the Gates Foundation through AGRA.

Dr. Maingi also spoke of the connection between hunger, malnutrition and violence against women and children. In this manner, agroecology may also offer a path away from this structural violence since women remain vital smallholders and subsistence producers.

The Africa-US Food Sovereignty Summit adopted a statement that we are reposting for our readers’ convenience. For additional reporting, video clips, and other Summit information, please visit the links that follow the official statement.  I invite my readers and followers to please support the work of the Community Alliance for Global Justice and the AGRA-Watch campaign.

Statement of the African and U.S. Food Sovereignty Summit


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