In 2004 the EU Commission published EU Land Policy Guide-lines: Guidelines for Support to Land Policy Design and Land Policy Reform Process in Developing Countries. It proposes that steps be taken to allow the legal recognition of customary rights and to strengthen the institutional capacities of customary structures that enforce them.
This paper examines the policies and practices on land of the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. After a market-led approach to land distribution in the 1980s, DFID made some changes towards a rights-based land policy, but this has since regressed.
TNI was there, when Wageningen University witnessed the dynamism of the modern food movement, at a two day conference that shared views on farming, research, advocacy and activism, and a commitment to transforming our food and agriculture systems
Effective state policies and investments in support of small scale food producers does not only provide a socially just alternative to a model based on foreign direct investment in agro-industries, but it is also a safeguard against land grabbing.
Global corporations are increasingly influencing development policy, resulting in partnership agreements like the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security that grow corporate profits while endangering the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.
The RAI principles do not move further in navigating the slippery terrain of defining ‘responsible’ versus ‘irresponsible’ investment - possibly resulting in them doing more harm than good. It is essential to push back against a regressive use of the principles and monitor what other actors are doing in the name of the principles.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has a long history of work in the field of land policy and agrarian reform, playing a lead role in international co-operation from its founding up until the 1970s. From the 1990s on, the initiative in the design and development of land policies and agrarian reform has been taken up by the World Bank, with the FAO generally following its policies.
Corporate control of the food system in the US continues to undermine the livelihoods of farmers, farmworkers, fisherpeople, communities of color, and indigenous peoples in the US, but there are also increasing examples of community-based resistance, grassroots solidarity, and broad-based alliances that are resisting the corporate takeover.
James Scott, co-director of Yale Agrarian Studies Program, talks of how the secure access to food is a pre-condition to all other human rights. Without secure access to food people will allow encroachment of their rights by the people who do control food.
Henry Bernstein explains why he finds the big concept of food sovereignty lesser then the sum of its parts and how it does not constitute a coherent view of al the nuances and strength that one can find in the field.
Jack Kloppenburg, Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin Madison introduces the concept of Seed Sovereignty and the Open Source Seed Initiative, and highlights the role of participatory plant breeding in utilizing the creativity of farmers.