Hilda E. Kurtz in collaboration with Heather Retberg, Bonnie Preston
01 January 2013
In 2011, a group of food and farmer activists in Maine set off a maelstrom of political activity in and around the food sovereignty movement when they drafted and placed on town meeting warrants a Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance. Intended to maintain the viability of small farms in a struggling rural economy, these ordinances exempt direct transactions of farm food from licensure and inspection.
Fisheries systems are widely considered to be ‘in crisis’ in both economic and ecological terms, a considerable concern given their significance to food security, international trade and employment the world over. The most common explanation for the crisis suggests that it is caused by weak and illiberal property regimes.
Alternative food systems have been criticized as neoliberal because they locate social change potential in consumer market behavior, assume functions that were formerly provided by the state, and produce subjectivities consistent with market logics. Food sovereignty, on the other hand, directly challenges neoliberalism by pairing local and regional ecological agriculture with direct challenges to the corporate food regime.
Though women play a greater role than ever as food producers. they face obstacles such that they are often relegated to a form of agricultural production that is characterized by its low productivity and that is geared towards own consumption
According to the International Food Policy Research Institute's Global Hunger Index, 2011, India ranks 67th among the 81 countries of the world with poorest food security; and this is when some states in the country have registered very high rates of growth in agriculture.
In Latin America the failure of neoliberal policies, and the popular mobilization of social movements against neoliberalism, led to the election of anti or post-neoliberal governments. This has opened up new political space for rural social movements to push for the institutionalization of food sovereignty in state policy.
Food sovereignty is often presented as a panacea. Although the concept has been incorporated into local discourse, in practice it is elusive. It is also inextricably linked with larger global financial and governance structures, energy use and inequality that are extremely difficult to locate and to challenge, especially for local farmers.
California is a land of contradictions. It is known as the breadbasket of the nation, but farmland is disappearing with alarming speed. Crop and ranch lands are falling out of production at a rate of one square mile every four days between 1984 and 2008.
Given food sovereignty’s origin as a movement by farmers in developing countries, its expansion to other actors in the food system and to other geographic regions is not straightforward. This paper explores how the concept of food sovereignty has been applied to date in the United States.
Peru’s water regime is the product of 20 years of negotiations involving the state and non-state actors, the World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank. The 2009 water law and the institutions which have been designed to implement it are informed by IWRM discourse.
Huertas did not begin as a research project, but rather as a grassroots effort to build gardens with Latino/a migrant farm workers on rural dairies in Vermont using donated materials and time. Over four summers it has grown into a larger, more organized food access project.
Max Spoor, Natalia Mamonova, Oane Visser, Alexander Nikulin
01 January 2013
In this paper we argue that Russian discourses on and practices of food sovereignty strongly diverge from the global understanding of this concept. We distinguish two approaches to food and agriculture that are crucial for understanding food sovereignty à la Russe.
Organic farming is often presented as the success story of Rural Development policies in the European Union, having grown from a marginal activity to covering more than 5% of European agricultural land. Even though organic farming is often thought of as small-scale farming, I show that organic farms in Europe display characteristics associated with capitalist agriculture.
As foreign governments and corporations lease and purchase large tracts of arable land across the globe, in Africa, such large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) or ‘land grabs’ have allegedly provided the grievance behind protests, riots, coups, and other conflict from Mali to Madagascar.
Tanzania has been experiencing different periods of food shortages mainly because of insufficient food production. While the country has an undisputable potential for food production, the state and its development partners such the World Bank, believe that the unsustainable peasant food production is the main cause of the food crisis.
One way that food sovereignty challenges conventional notions of food security is by insisting that culture is and should be part of food systems. Many definitions of food sovereignty assert a right to “culturally appropriate” food, but who decides what is culturally appropriat?