In October this year 2021, La Via Campesina together with the rest of the food sovereignty movement celebrated 25 years of peasant-led efforts and campaign to bring food sovereignty to reality. This was a moment reflect and strategize how to continue to resist a model of production driven by greed for profit at all cost. The concept was formally introduced in policy circles in 1996 at the World Food Summit in Rome and later broadened collectively in 2007 and structured in six key pillars to reflect the interests of many vulnerable and often neglected constituencies.
The reflections started beginning of the year 2021, and converged on the 16th of October, the day of action for food sovereignty and against transnational corporations (TNCs). On this day, an international webinar on “Food Sovereignty: 25 years building the future” was held. The webinar was broadcast in major South Asian languages such as Hindi, Sinhala, and Kannada.
Elizabeth Mpofu, the outgoing General Coordinator of La Via Campesina, encouraged participants to continue to enrich the concept and build a better societies at a time when the world is at a cross road on many policy issues, of which the ideal food system to solve hunger and poverty is one among many.
The introduction of Food Sovereignty as a collective right has changed how the world understands poverty and hunger, which until recently was shaped by a narrow idea of “Food Security” dominated governance and policy-making circles founded on market ideology. Elizabeth Mpofu said “What is clear to all is that neoliberal policies, capitalism has failed! Now is the time to transform! We have the Peasant Rights Declaration to support the transformation… We have a great challenge before us to convince our governments not only to embrace Food Sovereignty but make and implement policies in favour of Food Sovereignty”.
La Via Campesina South Asia together with Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) and allies co-hosted a series of webinar on Agroecology to mark the 25 years building the future of Food Sovereignty.