Food for the people

Peasants, fisherfolk, shepherds and representatives of indigenous communities are gathered at the World Forum for Food Sovereignty to discuss this concept, which arose as a political proposal submitted by La Vía Campesina during the 1996 World Food Summit, and which puts people at the centre of policies which are being promoted in relation to food systems. Women’s organizations meeting last Thursday in Sélingué (Mali) during a forum analyzing the contributions of women to food sovereignty said that, in this context, the role being played by the women’s movement is vital to transform these concepts into real projects.

During that Forum, Radio Mundo Real interviewed Cyrus Pangan, a member of
NGOs for the Fisheries Reform (NFR), an organization whose principal objective is the reform of the policy relating to fisheries in the Philippines, with a view to reversing the current situation where “food for profit” has more value than “food for the people”.

“We are here because food sovereignty is an important issue in my country, especially for women in rural areas, peasant women and fisherwomen, and that includes indigenous communities. So we want to be included in the discussion, and we want our agenda as rural women to be included, too, said Pangan. He also explained to Radio Mundo Real that tools were starting to be developed in the Philippines to monitor food and water safety, to give rural women a role in issues relating to food sovereignty.

In terms of his expectations with regard to the Forum, Pangan explained that what they were seeking was an exchange that would enable them to learn about the different situations that exist and also to open up opportunities leading to the development of a common strategy at both the regional and international level.

“We want to share the experiences of different countries and different sectors and maybe we can also develop strategies to consolidate our efforts towards achieving food sovereignty”, he said.