Check out Food First’s most recent edition of Alternatives to the Green Revolution in Africa newsletter (AAAGRrrr!). In a piece written by Richard Jonasse and Tanya Kerssen, Nourishing the Planet Advisory Group member, Professor Olivier De Schutter, is quoted about the threat of increasing corporate consolidation in the food system and how it puts small farmers at risk. De Schutter calls on African nations to increase access for farmers to markets and strengthening local and public procurement systems. Food First points out “that the ability-and the willingness-of developing countries to carry out such policies, however, is constrained in part by the enormous influence of the multilateral Aid regime.”
“ In their struggles for land reform, democracy and food sovereignty, peasant movements must confront not only unaccountable governments and corporations, but powerful philanthropies and international aid institutions that are shaping every imaginable aspect of the political (and actual) landscape,” according to the article.
Ultimately, what is needed, says Food First, is “strengthening smallholder agriculture and the social fabric through the promotion of cohesive farmer collectives and smallholder support mechanisms, local control over seed production and research, and stopping land grabs through secure land rights.”
Stay tuned for more about innovations that put farmers in the driver’s seat in State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet.