Land as the Basis of Sovereignty: Palestinian farmers awarded Food Sovereignty Prize
On October 15, 2014, the Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) will receive the sixth annual Food Sovereignty Prize
along with the US farmworker organization Community to Community. Awarded by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance
, the Food Sovereignty Prize recognizes movements working for a more democratic food system around the world. This year—following a brutal campaign of Israeli rocket attacks on Gaza that killed over 2,000 Palestinians—the selection of UAWC as a Food Sovereignty Prize winner strikes an emotional chord. It is a powerful reminder that there can be no sovereignty—let alone food
sovereignty—under conditions of military occupation and war. It also reminds us that food justice and food sovereignty are fundamentally rooted in control over land and resources; cultural and political self-determination; and freedom from all forms of violence.
Once the backbone of the Palestinian economy, farming in the Palestinian territories has dropped from 28 percent of GDP in 1993 to only 5.8 percent today. Between 1967 and 2012, the percentage of Palestinians employed in agriculture fell from 46 percent of the workforce to 11.4 percent. Loss of access to water is central to this precipitous decline. With almost complete control of the aquifers in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel has drilled deep wells to supply its settlements, causing water tables to drop dramatically, especially in the West Bank. While half of Palestinian wells have dried up over the last twenty years, farmers must pay for water to be trucked in for irrigation, raising the cost of production for Palestinian crops.
Etiquetas: eng, Food First, Palestine