Antonio Turrent Fernández, Timothy A. Wise, Elise Garvey
01 January 2013
Once the poster child for free trade, Mexico is now better known for its failures, among them the loss of the country’s food sovereignty. Rising agricultural prices, combined with growing import dependence, have driven Mexico’s food import bill over $20 billion per year and increased its agricultural trade deficit.
The concept of food sovereignty represents an important theoretical and practical challenge. The political economy of agriculture can only take this gauntlet by developing a better understanding of the processes of agricultural growth. Without such an understanding it is difficult to address the issue of food sovereignty.
Climate change and climate-change policies affect food security. Vulnerabilities, however, do not just fall from the sky. Vulnerability is not an attribute of changing hazards. It is produced and reproduced through social and political-economic relations on the ground.
While many contemporary rural social movements once argued for increased industrial farming inputs and machinery for their members, the past few years have seen an accelerating shift toward the promotion of agroecology as an alternative to the so-called Green Revolution.
This article explores the various meanings of food sovereignty developed by distinct actors in Canada to better understand existing challenges, tensions, convergences and divergences in developing a national movement for food sovereignty.
The notion of food sovereignty was developed based on the notion that if the population of a country must depend for their next meal on global economy, on the goodwill of a superpower not to use food as a weapon, or the unpredictability of shipping, then that country is not secure in the sense of food security. It has thus been argued that food sovereignty goes beyond the concept of food security.
Increasingly scholars are examining factors that may serve to constrain or advance food sovereignty policy initiatives. This paper examines the case of Nicaragua’s Law 693, the Law of Food and Nutritional Sovereignty and Security, which was passed in 2009.
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.