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Food Sovereignty concepts share the common prin-ciples of targeting the root causes of a problem. Fulfilling the main principles of Food Sovereignty equally implies applying the basics of SSE. Cooperation, participation, solidarity, environ-mental sustainability and radical democracy are the common values of SSE and Food Sovereignty concepts. This is further amplified in agroecology. Both the Nyéléni Declaration on Agro-ecology (2015) and the FAO 10 Elements of agroecology include mention of SSE. Because it is only if we manage to change the dominant economic paradigm and mainstream SSE that we will realise genuine societal change, including in the field of Food Sovereignty.

   "Food Sovereignty is considered a basic human right, recognized and implemented by communities, peoples, States and international bodies".Nyéléni declaration on Food Sovereignty, 2007


The so-called “Green Revolution” in the 20th century globalized industrial agriculture and soon resulted in severalfold higher yields, based on widespread use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers as well as hybrid and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). This may have led to some decline in the number of the people facing hunger, but after some years it created soil depletion and a loss in yields. This model is one of the main causes of the cli-mate change. As a result we can see millions of farmers leaving their territories and migrating to the cities. It is not only a problem about hunger and production, this is also a territorial and social issue. Although the fight to eradicate hunger continues, the dou-ble burden of disease from those overweight and suffering from NCDs (Non-communicable diseases such as heart problems and diabetes) is equal to that of under-nourishment, as the number of people suffering from undernourishment is on the rise again1. Global trade often means that food from regions threatened the most by hunger is exported, rather than supporting sustainable local food systems. The exception to this is Fair Trade.


The current situation concerning food systems and nutrition is absurd. There are currently over 820 million undernourished people in the world and the number of overweight or obese people is estimated as in excess of 2 billion in 2019.2 It is essential to stop confusing calorie intake and nutrition. Industrially processed foods have a high calorie count but are not healthy. Agroecologically grown local food cooked from scratch may be lower in calories, but contains far more vital nutrition. Meanwhile about one third of all food is wasted at different levels of the food chain. This varies from 56% in the industrial food chain to as little as 6% in Community Supported Agriculture.3 Another side of enormous wasting is linked to growing crops to feed industrially raised livestock. Globally, animal production is responsible for half of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from food. A further challenge is where land and water are used for the production of biofuel rather than food to feed local communities. There is more than enough food currently available to feed all of humanity, including the projected growth in human population, but many people lack access to the food that is produced. This is why it is essential to support local food systems, peasant agriculture for local consumption. Principally we need to rethink the attitude towards food: Food must stop being considered as a commodity. Agriculture needs to be removed from the WTO, and food needs to become part of our Commons again.

Who feeds the majority of population? Small Farmers!

Last modified: Wednesday, 28 April 2021, 1:18 PM