Youth and the democratization of food systems
Illustration: Sophie Holin for LVC, Instagram: @soph.ieholin
It’s December. Yet another year in our cycle of life is drawing to a close as we search for hope and solidarity in the face of daunting adversities. The world is marred by rising temperatures, erratic weather events, extreme poverty, hunger, wars, conflicts and violence.
A systemic model that placed the interests and profits of the few over those of the many has created this catastrophe. The global industrial food system is a case in point—it is among the largest polluters on the planet. It uses nearly two-thirds of the world’s resources but can only feed a quarter of the world’s population, leaving behind a trail of destructive and polluting practices along its supply chain. In contrast, peasant agriculture, which still feeds 70% of the global population, sustains harmonious and healthy cycles of food production, distribution and consumption.
It’s high time we reminded global food governance institutions and governments that the real solutions to the global food crisis lie in giving peasant communities, Indigenous Peoples, migrant workers, landworkers, small-scale fishers and pastoralists the power and the autonomy to build food sovereignty in our territories. We must rally behind food systems built by and for the people in an agroecological way that respects the cycle of life in all its forms. A vital element in protecting and multiplying these diverse, decentralized and resilient food systems are the conditions available to the young and future small-scale food producers to engage in the production process. This edition of the Nyéléni newsletter delves into the democratization of people’s food systems and the critical need to keep the role and future of the peasant youth in this process.
La Via Campesina Youth Articulation