Food Security, Food Sovereignity & Sustainable Farming

'Climate-Smart Agriculture' - preparing for a corporate soil and climate-grab in Paris?

This article gives a brief history of ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’, and shows how currently the term can equally be applied to both industrial monocultures and agroecology. The level of corporate interest is high, including Monsanto, Walmart, Danone, and the big fertiliser companies. France, a keen member of the Global Alliance for ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture’ (GACSA), and the host for December 2015 climate conference in Paris (COP21), has developed a proposal that risks defining the soil as a giant carbon sink to offset continued emissions.
Read the full article at The Ecologist

Food sovereignty:

Access to a wide variety of foods is a necessity for health and well-being, but it is also the basis for cultural integrity. In many parts of the world, rich and diverse local food systems still exist. EcoNexus therefore addresses not only the food safety of GM crops but also food security and food sovereignty. Food security is often taken to imply a basic but impoverished supply of food, but genuine food security involves defending and regenerating local food systems. Diverse systems that are appropriate to their regions in which food production is under the control of the people or community who then actually eat it, is the basis for food sovereignty. In this context, sustainable farming not only ensures food security but also protects agricultural diversity.
Under threat from industrialized agriculture?
However, farming systems become more and more industrialized, concentrating on the production of agricultural commodities for mass processing. Local varieties of crop and animals are getting lost, along with vital knowledge and practice handed down over centuries. Without these, future food production is seriously jeopardised.
At the same time, grains are increasingly used as animal feed instead of for human consumption, and currently we can witness the use of agricultural land for the production of agrofuels and industrial prodcuts rather than food production. While access to food already is a problem, the industrialized food production systems lead to the waste and destruction of vast quantities of food everyday, especially in the US and Europe.
EcoNexus follows the developments of specific crop plants and animals (such as rice, soya or fish) but also looks at the bigger picture and recurring themes, like the question whether GM crops could feed the world.

Feed the world?

The promise of more food from increased yields is driving the appeal for more GM crops, but that promise is theoretical and unfulfilled, argue Dr Ricarda A Steinbrecher and Antje Lorch.

Argentina: A Case Study on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Soya

This case study explains why Argentina began to grow genetically engineered RR soya and why its cultivation has spread so rapidly to more than 14 million hectares (ha) in 2003-4. It looks at the role that Argentina adopted in the 19th Century as an exporter of raw materials and a target for foreign investment. Other factors touched on include the massive accumulation of debt, economic collapse, financial speculation, capital flight and structural adjustment imposed by the Menem government (1989-99) according to instructions from international financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Hungry Corporations

This book demonstrates that a handful of companies have gained an alarming level of control over the food chain through the industrialisation of agriculture, the forces of globalisation, and the vertical and horizontal integration of business. These corporations are deeply involved in the current push for genetic engineering in agriculture. Industry argues that genetic engineering is the technology of the next industrial revolution and that it can help resolve the problem of hunger.

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