Food sovereignty Increasingly, the agro-industrial export model of food production and global economic policies are undermining the food security needs of the majority of people in the world. With the liberalization of trade in food products, Southern food producers are having difficulty competing with highly subsidized food imports. As governments continue to promote commercial agriculture, food-producing communities are increasingly vulnerable to concentration of both resources and of the food supply chain itself. The loss of genetic resources and the denial of farmers' rights to conserve and exchange seed, the inability of governments to manage food supplies and reserves for public benefit, and the imposition of intellectual property rights on life forms, threaten the ability of food-producing communities to sustain themselves. The massive conversion of food producing land to plantations of crops that are processed into ethanol and biodiesel for export to Northern countries is an increasing threat to small-scale farmers. Farmers and indigenous communities are also increasingly facing challenges posed by newer technologies such as the introduction of genetically modified organisms, leading to decreasing control over seeds and the potential destruction of community-based food sovereignty systems. Without significant change, these processes are likely to be devastating, as the majority of people in the South remain dependent on small-scale agriculture for their livelihoods.
Inter Pares and our counterparts are promoting ecological agriculture methods with an emphasis on local food sovereignty, as well as the preservation of the social support characteristic of food-producing communities. Inter Pares and our counterparts are promoting innovation and the development of new knowledge, as well as the conservation of indigenous knowledge, biodiversity and environmental resources. These activities aim to enhance the livelihoods of farm families and indigenous communities, promote access to food, and strengthen the role of women in food producing communities. This work also aims to organize farmers and promote the central place of farmers in debates about agricultural policy. Based on this work, Inter Pares brings international perspectives and analysis to domestic food and agricultural policy and foreign policy development in Canada, in areas such as trade and agricultural biotechnology.
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|Reviewed October 25, 2012||Publishing Policies|