Sustainable Livelihoods

Bittersweet Victory for Anti-Wall Protestors in West Bank

The BBC reports that, "Israel's supreme court has ordered the government to redraw the route of the West Bank barrier near Bilin village, a key focus of anti-barrier protest."

The Separation Wall is often used as a tool to destroy Palestinian villages, separating farmers from the fields that surround their communities, shutting producers off from local markets and depriving communities of access to traditional sources of water.

Small Farmers and Agrofuels in Mexico

Victor M. Quintana is an adviser to the Frente Democrático Campesino de Chihuahua , researcher at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez and collaborator with the Americas Policy Program, at www.americaspolicy.org. He works with the Rural Coalition and the Via Campesina, Mexico and has spoken and written widely about agrofuels, especially about their impact on the price of staple foods like tortillas in Mexico.

We're All in this Together

[This is a final report by George Naylor, President of the National Family Farm Coalition from the Via Campesina's International Forum on Agrofuels and Food Sovereignty, August 30-31, 2007 in Mexico City. --Ed.]

Would it seem strange to you if your country had become dependent on food imports, but your government starts promoting the idea that the agricultural system needs to produce agrofuel, too?

How about if 3.5 million of your fellow citizens migrated out of the country since 2000, many because they could no longer make a living on the farm?

Tell the Senate to Support Food Aid that Helps, Not Hurts

We can do it with your help.

There are promising signs that this crucial legislation may pass the Senate, but we need your help to make it happen. Every call counts as the Farm Bill gets closer to a vote.

Call your Senators now and ask them to support food aid that works.

Video from Nyeleni Forum for Food Sovereignty on You Tube

The Nyeleni communications team just sent us a link to a very inspirational video, a trailer for a documentary on the global food sovereignty movement and Nyeleni 2007, the Forum for Food Sovereigty.

The video is subtitled in Spanish, but for those who don't speak Spanish, many of the interviews were conducted in English.

Ethanol's Dissonant Sounds: A Dirge for the Commons

I recently traveled to Iowa to visit an ethanol plant. Over the din of the machinery, here are the sounds that I heard:

Glub, glub. The plant consumes over a million kilos of corn per day. That's good news for area farmers especially as the price has almost doubled due to high demand. The bad news is that our current agricultural system is petroleum-soaked. Chemical pesticides and fertilizers, machinery, irrigation pumps, and grain transport all depend on the stuff. Sustainable Table reports that each acre of corn, just in chemical pesticides and fertilizers, requires 5.5 gallons of petroleum.

Fasten Your Seatbelt for the Next Green Revolution

Are you ready? Or are you still tallying up the costs to the commons from the first Green Revolution? I invite you to listen in on a fascinating debate between farmer advocates and the money behind the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

River Rerouting in Brazil: Reinventing a Broken Wheel

1,200 indigenous people, fishermen and peasant farmers occupied the construction site of a major river rerouting project of the São Francisco river in protest. Members of different organizations and social movements in northeast Brazil are demanding that the federal government stop the implementation of this project and guarantee indigenous people’s land rights in the area.

“We are being evicted from our land for this by people who are not concerned with the river or with the livelihood of our families” said Neguinho Truká, leader of the Truká ethnic group.

Towards a Green Food System: How Food Sovereignty Can Save the Environment and Feed the World

Grassroots International and Food and Water Watch teamed up to issue an informative and compelling report that shows how food sovereignty will not only benefit small farmers all over the world, but will also give environmentalists and consumers what "free” trade and bad farm policies have failed to deliver. Conventional agriculture is a major cause of global warming, and as Congress and the United Nations grapple with a new environmental treaty, a strong food sovereignty movement is more critical than ever. Please read the report to find out more about this remarkable movement, how bridges can be built, and why the time to work together has arrived.

Via Campesina Brazil's Women Are for Food Sovereignty and against Agribusiness

Today, March 6th, Grassroots International received an announcement from the Via Campesina Brazil. The women of the Via Campesina Brazil are honoring International Women's Day by organizing land occupations and protests against large Brazilian and transnational corporations who own and exploit huge tracts of Brazilian land and labor for monocultured cultivation of trees for cellulose for export. The women refer to these huge tracts of land planted only with such trees as the "green deserts" of Brazil - green deserts because they produce no food and very little employment, and are also environmentally damaging. Please read the announcement of our partners below: