To Fight Global Warming and Prevent Hunger, We Need to Change How We Grow Our Food
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Those that defend rural communities who have historically maintained the world's ecosystems--and the climate. We need policies that:
- Guarantee women small-scale farmers access to land, seeds, water, credit and other inputs and ensure that national legal frameworks uphold women's property rights.
- End the privatization and monopolization of seeds by a handful of corporations.
- Recognize food as first and foremost a human right and only secondarily a tradable commodity.
- Support a process to establish an international Convention to implement the concept of food sovereignty, whereby communities control their own food systems.
- Respect the right of small farmers to save and exchange seeds between communities and internationally, without penalties from agribusiness corporations.
- Convert national agricultural subsidies from support for agribusiness to incentives for sustainable farming.
What's the Bottom Line?
Sustainable farming is our best bet for feeding a growing world population and restoring the health of the planet and the stability of the climate. That's the conclusion of a 2008 United Nations report on Africa that found that organic methods produced more food and improve soil, water, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
Worldwide, the vast majority of small-scale, sustainable farmers are women. Securing the full range of their human rights -- as women, as workers, and as rural and Indigenous Peoples -- is key to empowering them to enact solutions on which so much depends.
Yifat Susskind is MADRE's Policy and Communications Director.