One more step forward in the struggle for food sovereignty

The Forum for Food Sovereignty is coming to a close. After five days of intense debate and meetings in the countryside at Selingue (Mali), peasants, fisherfolk, women, herdspeople, consumers, etc. have approved a final declaration in which they present a series of specific demands in the struggle for food sovereignty and the strategies for achieving it, and in which they condemn the imperialist and neo-liberal system which confronts them.

The objective of food sovereignty is to place at the centre of the food system those who produce, distribute and consume, taking a stand against the demands of markets and corporations. It is a question of prioritizing local and national markets and strengthening small-scale agriculture, fishing and stockbreeding, putting food production, distribution and consumption on a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable basis.

The delegates have declared that they are fighting for a world in which all peoples can define their own food systems, which recognizes the rights and the role of women in the production of food and in which there is genuine and comprehensive agrarian reform, which recognizes the absolute right of peasants to the land. A world in which, in the words of the final declaration, ‘we can divide up our land peacefully and fairly amongst our peoples’.

The participants have stressed the need to oppose the neo-liberal and patriarchal system and, specifically, the international financial institutions, the World Trade Organization, free trade agreements and transnational corporations, as well genetically-modified organisms and food dumping. On another front is the fight against the paternalistic and patriarchal values that have been spread by globalization.

Finally, there is emphasis on the will to strengthen alliances and solidarity between the different sectors working in favour of food sovereignty. To achieve this objective, a schedule of action has been drawn up, setting out the proposals that have been put forward by the different working groups and this will be made public in the very near future. This is the progress that has been made in the Forum for Food Sovereignty in Selingue — one more step forward in the struggle for food sovereignty.

Esther Vivas and Xavier Montagut, 27 February