World Food Day
World Food Day was proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It marks the date of the founding of FAO in 1945. The aim of the Day is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. In 1980, the General Assembly endorsed observance of the Day in consideration of the fact that \"food is a requisite for human survival and well-being and a fundamental human necessity\" (resolution 35/70 of 5 December 1980). The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008. This new international day, established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.” Small food producers are composed of farmers, agricultural workers, fisherfolks, pastoralists, indigenous peoples and women, men and young people (CSM Lobbying Document on developing guidelines/framework/code on responsible agricultural investment). Food Sovereignty is the inalienable RIGHT of peoples, communities, and countries to define, decide and implement their own agricultural, labour, fishing, food and land policies which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their unique circumstances. Rights of small producers; indigenous peoples for self-determination; gender justice in food and agriculture; and rights of agricultural workers are part of this struggle and are directly linked to the right to life and livelihoods. Widget by Way2Blogging


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Protesters demand food sovereignty

The  PFF campaign News clip.- Pakistan 
KARACHI - A large number of fishermen, farmers and herdsmen participated in a rally to mark the World Food Day as week of action on food sovereignty (October 9-16) has been started, globally. Organised jointly by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), the rally attracted crowds to resist land grabbing, demanded rights to have safe water, indigenous seeds and land for food sovereignty.The week-long activities Piler and PFF include resisting against the projects like Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD), which sometimes prove manmade disasters, paralyzing local communities, depriving them of food resources.
 They urged upon the policy-makers to avoid introducing genetically modified (GM) seeds, which threatens the human health. The rally led by PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah here at Press Club, where community leaders highlighted the indigenous rights to natural resources and demanded to save Indus delta, fresh water lakes and forests from threats of degradation.Carrying banners and placards, shouting slogans, the community leaders pointed out how water bodies are being degraded, causing fears of food insecurity for fishermen, farmers and herdsmen. 
The sea is encroaching fertile land, putting farmers, fishermen and herdsmen vulnerable to face natural calamities. Migration from one place to the other in search of better living and safe shelter has become the routine matter for coastal communities, they added. Majority of farmers are sitting idle at their homes because of acute shortage of water in the tail end areas. They are unable to cultivate small pieces of lands. Persistent water shortage has also ruined natural grazing fields in the area, compelling herders to sell their animals.
Fishermen, who used to live a prosperous life 30—40 years back with having more fish catch now are facing hunger and poverty, because the fish reserves have been destroyed due to unfavourable government policies, the campaigners said.Shah, while addressing the gathering, said those produce grains do not have access to get three meals a day for their children. Fishermen cannot bring more catch to take little for their families eating. Herders seeing no better option now are compelled to sell their animals. He asked the communities to see how their lives are at stake because of increasing uncertainty due to shrinking natural resources, including riverine and mangroves forests, lakes and grazing fields. Badin being declared prone to disaster is said to be wiped out from the world map soon, because of facing cyclones, floods and droughts. 
Makal Shah, a local woman rights activist said “world communities are giving focus to raise awareness to end hunger. But irony is that in the coastal areas of Badin and Thatta hundreds of people are living under threats to be displaced because of sea intrusion, degradation of lands, increasing water logging and depletion of forests.” She said rural women have been left vulnerable to face hardships because no role has been left for them to play for contributing to their families through little work.“You are the real custodians of these natural resources, sea, river, lakes, forests and grazing fields through generations and now you should come forward to own the same for your future generations,” she asked the participants. 
Yasin Tunio, Mithan Mallah, Omar Mallah and others also spoke on the occasion. The PFF has asked community activists in Karachi, Badin and Thatta coastal areas and Sanghar, Hyderabad, Jacobabad districts to show the commitment to mark the food sovereignty day. Both the organizations will stage mass rallies, organize seminars and dialogues to discuss the issue of food security and role of the local communities to protect natural resources 


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