Food sovereignty is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems”
A critical analysis of the role of the state in constructing and pursuing a pathway towards food sovereignty. The most favourable conditions for pursuing a food sovereignty strategy exists when pro-reformist state and societal actors interact in a mutually reinforcing way to restructure relations of control and access over resources and political spaces.
Biotechnology has become the central form of technology in global agriculture since the neoliberal reformulation of global capitalism in the 1980s. Powerful transnational corporations have emerged as the major promoters of transgenic technology (a form of advanced biotechnology) in the global South. The Indian democratic developmental state (which has invested in biotechnology research since the mid-1980s) has its own interests regarding transgenic technology.
Since 2001 the Bolivarian government of Venezuela has embarked on an ambitious agrarian reform project aimed at establishing food sovereignty and reducing overwhelming import dependency. This project has centered mainly on the reconstitution of the national agriculture system, which was destroyed over the course of the twentieth century by resource extraction, the petroleum economy and waves of neoliberal trade policy.
Drawing from ethnographic data gathered over the last year, the paper you're about to read is an incipient attempt to trace a few of these threads through to an end-point, or at least a good point to pause.
While food sovereignty has begun making promising inroads into the existing corporate food system, it is still working through what, exactly, sovereignty means. At a basic level, sovereignty implies boundary-making – including some groups while excluding others -- yet food sovereignty movements often call for growing cooperation and interdependence.
A case study about indigenous seed preservation movement led by Korean Women Peasants' Association (KWPA) working for the food sovereignty as an alternative to the current global food system. In particular, it examines primarily on how peasant women's knowledge, which had been looked down on was reinterpreted into the main mechanism of the food sovereignty movement by KWPA as one of the major points of their movement.
Global rules concerning dispositional rights in plant varieties present a highly complex architecture with contrasting and, no doubt, conflicting norms and principles. And these tensions emerge from and translate into domestic laws and regulations – and, of course, return to haunt these varied forums.
Hom Gartaula, Kirit Patel, Derek Johnson, Dinesh Moghariya
01 January 2013
The present day reality is that the laudable economic growth has not able to conquer the alarming rate of poverty, hunger and malnutrition in the world. The support-led and growth mediated intervention measures provide grounds for farmers to opt for different livelihood options, determining their access and rights to food.
Using the case study of the 2012 illegal occupation of farmland owned by the University of California (“Occupy the Farm”), this paper investigates the promises and practical limits of constructing food sovereignty through direct action in the global North. Many grassroots activists find inspiration in the work of the Landless Peasant Movement (MST), La Via Campesina, and the concept(s) of Food Sovereignty (FS); many also express desires to transcend the market/state dichotomy through the creation of “commons”.
Brian Dowd-Uribe, Carla Roncoli, Ben Orlove, Colin T. West
01 January 2013
An expansion of motorized market gardening is currently occurring throughout West Africa, in the same region where the Nyéléni Declaration was signed in 2007. With greater access to water – made possible by the adoption of diesel-powered water pumps– smallholder farmers have been able to rapidly expand their dry season food production.
Bolivia has made great strides towards incorporating food sovereignty into its legal framework and political discourse. Nonetheless, tensions remain between the discourse of food sovereignty and how it plays out on the ground
The big tent version of fair trade collapsed when Fair Trade USA split from Fairtrade International, a global stakeholder governed network of certification agencies, firms, and representative farmer organizations. Despite protest from fair trade pioneers, smallholder cooperatives , and civil society, Fair Trad e USA developed weaker standards , granting certification to undeserving coffee plantations and unorganized smallholders.
Characterizing food sovereignty and neoliberal food production ideologies as dichotomous and oppositional, the first as positive and enriching and the second as negative and impoverishing, has given the food sovereignty movement some heuristic heft. However, presenting these two approaches as universal ideal types may overlook the diverse contexts they engage.