Press release:

Small-scale farmers of Africa and Denmark reject free trade

Free trading of farm products benefits primarily transnational corporations and furthers the industrialisation of agriculture. All at the expense of local food production.
03. juli 2018

I kategori

I kategori:

Representatives of Southern and Eastern Africa and Danish small-scale farming agree that free trading of farm products benefits primarily transnational corporations and furthers the industrialisation of agriculture. All at the expense of local food production.

Mateus Costa Santos, La Via Campesina Southern and Eastern Africa, and David Calleb Otieno, Kenyan Peasants League, met Tuesday June 12 in Copenhagen with representatives of Danish small scale farmers, Frie Bønder - Levende Land /La Via Campesina Denmark (FBLL- LVC DK). La Via Campesina is a global organisation of small-scale farmers. Membership includes more than 200 million peasants  farm workers, landless peoples, indigenous populations, youth and women from rural and urban contexts. The meeting had been organised by Afrika Kontakt, and it was dedicated to discussions of issues of common interest and future collaboration.

In Africa, most food is produced and consumed locally, and African farmers would like their food systems to continue to be based on that. Truly sustainable farming and local production and consumption of food are threatened, however, by climate change, and extractive for-profit endeavours and initiatives, including a strong push for the re-indutrialization of African farming and food systems. All with the effect that farmers are forced off their land and rural communities are destroyed.

”Danish and African small-scale farmers share a strong interest in mitigating climate change and preventing the dumping of European (and North American) farm products into food markets of countries of the Global South,” say Ole K. Davidsen and Ole Faergeman of FBLL. They add that investors in Danish pensions funds could help Africans and planetary climate by refusing to invest in funds that reinvest in e.g. the coal mining activities that currently are destroying great tracts of land in the south of Africa.

”In Africa we are in need of true democratic control of the decisions that direct the evolution of food systems so that we can avoid the mistakes made in Europe," says Mateus Santos.

”In Africa we are in need of true democratic control of the decisions that direct the evolution of food systems so that we can avoid the mistakes made in Europe, i.e. the policies for farming that have resulted in mass migration from the countryside to cities and, indeed, contributed to catastrophic climate change,” says Mateus Santos. David Otieno agrees and adds, ”In Kenya, land is classified as public, private or community land. Huge chunks of land are community land, but most of it has not been demarcated and is therefore held in trust by county governments. It is crucial that farmers have access to community lands.”

The Danish and African small-scale farmers share the belief that ”globalisation” should mean exchange of ideas rather than exchange of money and the transport of food across great distances. Years ago, La Via Campesina launched the idea of ”Food Sovereignty.” Today that idea is inscribed in the constitutions of several countries, and it continues to evolve in the great debate about the future of farming.

In a communique from the meeting in Copenhagen, the small-scale farming organisations say that ”We want to inspire and support each other in the struggle – based on fundamental democratic principles – to maintain and develop farming that is truly sustainable and truly local for the benefit of the people in Africa as well as in Northern Europe”

WE FEED THE PEOPLE, AND BUILD THE MOVEMENT TO CHANGE THE WORLD!

 

By: Mateus Costa Santos, David Calleb Otieno, Ole Faergeman and Ole K. Davidsen. 

Released on June 16th 2018

Kampagner

Afrika Kontakt har løbende forskellige kampagner, der har til formål at sætte fokus på et eller flere problemer, vores partnere i Afrika oplever. 

Vores kampagner bliver koordineret af aktive i vores kampagnegruppe. Gruppen planlægger og udfører vores kampagner i samarbejde med vores projektgrupper og partnere i Afrika. Du kan her finde mere information om kampagnegruppens arbejde.