Food First's blog
by Miguel A. Altieri, University of California, Berkeley
Food prices are increasing by the day, countries are cutting trade in some basic grains, and food riots, marches, and protests are happening in countries around the world. Is agriculture at a crossroads? Are the world’s 1.5 billion hectares of farmlands sufficient to feed us, the animals we consume… and also produce agrofuels for our industrial way of life?
Recently adopted U.S. and the E.U. renewable energy standards are contributed to rapidly rising prices for both land and food. Concerns about
By Angie Rodriguez
On Thursday January 31st, thousands of people took the streets of Mexico City as part of the mobilization to demand the renegotiation of the agricultural chapter of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In what was called March in Defense of Food Sovereignty, several labor unions, university students, teachers, civic organizations and members of the opposition parties, joined dozens of farmers organizations such as the National Confederation Of Farmers (CNC) and the National Union of Agricultural Workers to protest the elimination of trade barriers on corn imports.
Dow Jones Newswire ran a story on November 13th on the effort by the MST and Via Campesina to expel the Syngenta corporation from Brazil after the murder of MST/Via Campesina member Valmir Mota de Oliveira at its experimental farm in western Paraná state on October 21st. Mota was shot with two bullets in the chest at point blank range by one of Syngenta's hired security guards.
Senator Lugar of Indiana and Senator Lautenberg of New Jersey introduced the FRESH ACT. The ACT would end the billions of dollars going to corn, cotton, wheat, rice, soy and other big crops and replace it with a crop insurance program available to all farmers--including the 90% of California farmers who get NO money from the current
This Alert courtesy of OXFAM America:
More than 800 million people around the world face food shortages or malnutrition. The USA is massive donor of food aid, contributing more than one-half of all food aid to meet urgent demands and respond to emergencies.
I have just received this press release from Brazil. Its roughly translated English reveals its urgency (I received several others regarding the same event in Spanish and Portuguese). Food First is looking in to the incident.
Attack of Syngenta’s armed militia results in deaths and woundeds
We have been very busy at Food First and I have not had time to do this blog justice! Forgive me. To bring everyone up to speed, I am going to belatedly post accounts of the interesting and hopeful activities in which Food First has been involved.
Conference on the Green Revolution in Mozambique
Submitted by Laura Miller
Submitted by Laura Ann Miller
We left El Paso by bus at 7 AM. After a 4 hour drive across the northern deserts of Mexico, we arrive in Chihuahua, where we are received by Rogelio and Miguel Angel of the Frente Democratico Campesino—FDC. The FDC has been advocating for the rights of smallholder farmers in Chihuahua for over twenty years. Everyone seems to be in western dress: boots, Levi’s, wide belt and cowboy hat. Victor Quintana, a recently-elected representative to the Mexican Congress and a longtime adviser to the Frente gives us a talk over lunch at La Cebolla Roja in Chihuahua.
I’ve recently returned from Food First’s whirlwind reality tour to Mexico: “Along the Immigrant Trail.” We visited five cities (El Paso, Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Oaxaca City) six villages (Santa Isabel, Anáhuac, Vicente Guerrero, Guelatao, Nochixtlán, and Zaragoza. We met with eleven organizations, spoke with Mexican congressional representatives, and participated in a Via Campesina international meeting on NAFTA – All in eleven days!
The 2007 Farm Bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, July 27th with a vote of 231 to 191, after surprisingly little debate.
On Thursday, July 19th, the House Agriculture Committee passed a new Farm Bill for the United States. This new bill continues to perpetuate many of the inequalities of the 2002 Farm Bill, and still needs to address many issues before it can be voted on by the House of Representatives, most likely before the end of the month.
NOW IS THE TIME to contact your local Representative, to let them know that WE NEED A FAIRER FARM AND FOOD BILL!
Some details of the current Farm Bill:
By Kathy Ozer, National Family Farm Coalition and Dennis Olson, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
July 13, 2007
By Eric Holt-Giménez, Ph.D., Executive Director,
Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy