Peasants not food corporations feed the world | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Peasants not food corporations feed the world

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The latest edition of a report from ETC Group “Who Will Feed Us?” is a synthesis of research over several years which produces critical, much needed information to guide decision-make much-needed and agriculture. The report states that it is the Peasant Food Web that has the diversity, resilience, and light footprint needed to successfully adapt to climate change. Using agroecological strategies, the Web will consistently produce more, at less risk to people and the planet. Global agribusiness, on the other hand, is a major source of carbon emissions, and made vulnerable by genetic uniformity. Key findings are:
It is a diverse network of small-scale producers, dubbed the Peasant Food Web, that feeds 70% of the world, including the most hungry and marginalized peoplewith often much less than 25% of the resources (land, water, fossil fuels, etc.).
The Industrial Food Chain uses at least 75% of the world’s agricultural resources and is a major source of GHG emissions, but provides food to less than 30% the world’s people.
For every $1 consumers pay to the Industrial Food Chain retailers, society pays another $2 for the Chain’s health and environmental damages.
The Chain lacks the agility to respond to climate change.
The Peasant Food Web nurtures 9-100 times the biodiversity used by the Chain, across plants, livestock, fish and forests.
There is a lot about our food systems that we don’t know including the diverse knowledge systems in the Peasant Food Web.
At least 3.9 billion people are either hungry or malnourished because the Industrial Food Chain is too distorted, vastly too expensive, and just can’t scale up to feed the world.
With the right policies, land and rights, peasant-led agroecological strategies could double or even triple rural employment,substantially reducing the pressure for urban migration, significantly improve nutritional quality and availability and eliminate hunger while slashing agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90%. The policy recommendations made are:
Ensure agrarian reform including the right to territories (land, water, forests, fishing, foraging, hunting)
Restore the right to freely save, plant, exchange, sell and breed seeds and livestock
Remove regulations blocking local markets and diversity
The Chain is supported by $50 billion for public and private sector R&D per year. Peasant-directed research or agroecology is less than 1% of this. Shifting such funding to agroecology would be game-changing.
Institute fair trade, determined by peasant-led policies
Establish fair wages and working conditions for food and agricultural workers.
Who will feed us? The industrial food chain vs the peasant food web – ETC Group
Key Messages
1. Peasants are the main or sole food providers to more than 70% of the world’s people, and peasants produce this food with less (often much less) than 25% of the resources – including land, water, fossil fuels – used to get all of the world’s food to the table.
2. The Industrial Food Chain uses at least 75% of the world’s agricultural resources and is a major source of GHG emissions, but provides food to less than 30% of the world’s people.
3. For every $1 consumers pay to Chain retailers, society pays another $2 for the Chain’s health and environmental damages. The total bill for the Chain’s direct and indirect cost is 5 times governments’ annual military expenditure.
4. The Chain lacks the agility to respond to climate change. Its R&D is not only distorted but also declining as it concentrates the global food market.
5. The Peasant Food Web nurtures 9-100 times the biodiversity used by the Chain, across plants, livestock, fish and forests. Peasants have the knowledge, innovative energy and networks needed to respond to climate change; they have the operational scope and scale; and they are closest to the hungry and malnourished.
6. There is still much about our food systems that we don’t know we don’t know. Sometimes, the Chain knows but isn’t telling. Other times, policymakers aren’t looking. Most often, we fail to consider the diverse knowledge systems in the Peasant Food Web.
7. The bottom line: at least 3.9 billion people are either hungry or malnourished because the Industrial Food Chain is too distorted, vastly too expensive, and – after 70 years of trying – just can’t scale up to feed the world.
http://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/files/etc-whowillfeedus-english-webshare.pdf ———- Via Third World Network

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