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


Monday, October 15, 2012


Week of Action on Food Sovereignty [9-16 October] to mobilize communities to resist land grabbing, demand rights for water, seeds and land for food sovereignty


Despite global efforts to curb the number of hungry and malnourished in the world, the figures are continuously climbing. Around the globe, 925 million people are hungry and malnourished (FAO 2012). In spite of positive economic indicators heralded by many countries in Asia, the region is home to the most number of hungry people with 578 million (FAO Hunger Report 2011) with women and children as the most vulnerable. 
In October 2012, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) once again focused to the observance of the World Food Day (WFD) to raise awareness and understanding of approaches to ending hunger. Ironically, on the eve of the WFD is the International Rural Women’s Day to recognize the critical role and contribution of rural women in food security and rural development. In the same month, FAO Committee on Food Security (CFS) meets for its 39th session and the issue of hunger and malnutrition will be on its agenda once again without recognizing that hunger and poverty are rooted in the lack of access to productive resources, particularly land, water and seeds.
Meanwhile, the “approaches to ending hunger” by the FAO, multilateral institutions, governments and corporations are hinged on neo-liberal policies that promote aggressive investment in agriculture to “revitalize rural economies”, among others. At the national level, small food producers in rural and coastal communities, herders in the grasslands are not only forced to live with the reality of hunger and malnutrition, they are also facing the grim reality of being displaced to give way to large-scale foreign investments in agriculture. 
The current phenomenon of large-scale foreign investments that lead to global land grabbing has caused massive displacement in rural communities. In the latest data by the international NGO GRAIN, there are 400 cases of large-scale agricultural investments all over the world. In Asia, documented cases show massive land grabbing in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Laos and other places. The data set reveals that globally, nearly 35 million hectares of land have been subjected to these investments since 2006. It has resulted in increased landlessness, displacement of people, violations of human rights and degradation of natural resources, thereby further worsening poverty and hunger among small food producers. The displacement of communities due to land grabs also increase women's vulnerability to violence and exploitative conditions in order to survive. 
Land grabbing has undoubtedly placed the food security and sovereignty of the world’s people, primarily the small food producers, in grave peril. This caused to increase the hunger, starvation and malnutrition among the food producing rural communities in the world.

The Context of Pakistan
The results of Nat Nut survey reveals that at National level about 42% of the households are food secure while the remaining 58% are food insecure, the food insecurity data was further disaggregated and it was found that out of 58% that were food insecure 28.4% were food insecure without hunger, 19.8% were food insecure with Moderate hunger and 9.8% were food insecure with severe hunger. There is a division between the urban and rural areas, in urban areas about 48% are food secure while 52% are food insecure compared with rural areaswhere 39.4% of Households are food secure and 60.6% are food insecure. In urban areas of those households that were food insecure 26.5% of them was food insecure without hunger, 17.7% were food insecure with moderate hunger and 8.2% were food insecure with severe hunger. In rural areas out of those households that were food insecure 28.3% werefood insecure without hunger, 20.7% were food insecure with moderate hunger and 10.5%were food insecure with severe hunger. The data suggested that the households in rural areas are more food insecure when compared with the urban areas.We further investigated the data on provincial basis and it was revealed that there is a clearvariance among the provinces for the food security data. Following is the disaggregated data on the provincial basis.
Therefore, to highlight the worsening hunger and malnutrition and the global phenomenon of land grabbing, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum proposes to use the occasion of the World Food Day on October 16. And with the commemoration of the International Rural Women's Day, it is also an opportune time to emphasize the plight of rural women and their critical roles and contributions in agricultural production and the community's food security. 
As the FAO leads global commemoration of WFD, it is also an opportunity to highlight the ongoing FAO-led process of developing the “principles of responsible agricultural investment (RAI)” which addresses the phenomenon of global land grabbing and promote investments in agriculture that contribute to food security and nutrition and to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.
The commemoration of the World Food Day would be a great opportunity for the Pakistani food producers to highlight their situations, expose the difficulties they face due to land grabbing, loss of sea beaches, lagoons and many other water bodies, coastal areas natural forests, for tourism and many other so called development projects launched by the government, investors in the name of development. At the end, the small food producers will lose their livelihoods and become further marginalized and extreme poor. The injustices caused to the poor and vulnerable people do not highlight in the main stream media which are keeping under the cover of development and we expect to expose these with the participation of the food producers, rural communities who are the victims of present neo liberal economic policies. 


The Week of Action to mark the World Foodless Day aims to:

1) Create broad public awareness on the global phenomenon of land and sea grabbing, fresh water bodies and the impact of these on hunger and poverty in Pakistan,

2) Promote and highlight people’s resistance against land grabbing and demand for food sovereignty at the national and international platforms,

3) Build up and strengthening the existing links of social movements, civil society organizations, trade unions and progressive political groups in our own country/ies in Asia, and beyond to work common direction of food sovereignty,

4) Conscientize and mobilize wider possible grass root groups, national, regional and international groups to work on Land, Water, Seeds, Fish and Food actions for food sovereignty and

5) Resist and stop totally the loss of natural resources, degradation of environment and violation of human rights of the local communities who engage in to protect their rights.


Resist land and water grabbing now!
Women’s rights to land and resources!
Genuine agrarian and aquatic reforms now!
Assert the rights of Seeds and Water!
Stop Hybrid seed business
Protect communities from disasters
No to industrial fishing
No to World Bank and IMF
End hunger!

Assert people’s food sovereignty

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