Thursday, September 27, 2012

FAO accused of “promoting the destruction of peasant and family farming”

Click here to read this in full @ Social Watch:

FAO director-general José
Graziano da Silva.
(Photo: FAO/Ozan Kose)
Relevant environmental and peasant groups declared themselves “shocked and offended” because the heads of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) called on governments to embrace corporations as the “main engine” for global food production growth. In a collective statement, the civil society organizations said the FAO is abandoning its mission by “promoting the destruction of peasant and family farming” and the “land grabbing”.

The appeal to private companies for doubling their investments “in the land […], in machinery and seeds” in “a vast swathe of land stretching from Mongolia in Central Asia to Morocco in North Africa” was made by Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the FAO, and Suma Chakrabarti, president of the EBRD, in an article published by The Wall Street Journal on September 6.
“The simple truth is that the world needs more food, and that means more production. There is plenty of room for agricultural growth in the areas in which the EBRD operates […]. The private sector can be the main engine of such growth,” Da Silva an Chakrabarti wrote.

“The private sector needs to double investment in the land itself, and in machinery and seeds. Investment in storage, transport and trading infrastructure are the key not only to ensure that food reaches its intended destination but also to build buffers against adverse shocks and droughts. Some of the infrastructure investment could be done jointly with governments in appropriately structured joint ventures,” they added.

La Via Campesina, GRAIN, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC), the World March of Women, the ETC Group and the Latin American Articulation of Movements Toward ALBA warned in a joint statement that “the heads of these two influential international agencies make a clear call for a world wide increase in private sector investment and land grabbing.”

Click here to read this in full @ Social Watch:

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