Food, Agriculture and Rural areas: an alarming present situation
Since several months, food is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive, and it is already unaffordable for many people. According to Josette Sheeran, director ofthe World Food Program, "there are 854 million hungry people in the world and 4 million more join their ranksevery year. We are facing the tightest food supplies in recent history. For the world's most vulnerable, food is simply being priced out of their reach". The world's 200 wealthiest people have as much money as about 40 percent of the global population, while about 850 million people go tobed hungry every night. This calamity is "one of the worst violations of human dignity," says former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
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DARING TO BUILD A NEW RURAL WORLD:
Call for action, World Food Day 2008
Every year on October 16th MIJARC is contributing to the word food day.
In 2008 MIJARC focus on
“Seeds–Foundation of global food security, Access to seeds is afundamental right of farmers”.
Hunger is one of the oldest problems in the world but now is the time to be ashamed that we still haven’t solved this problem. From a young people’s perspective the struggle against hunger is a most important mission. And as Christians we feel a responsibility to combat hunger and to show our solidarity with other people. The struggle against hunger can only be won if lots of people are willing to change the current agricultural system, which is not at all benefiting the poor.
The right to have access to seed is a key concern for MIJARC, we promote this right of the common people, as seed is not a commodity for trade but it is a resource for life and humanity.
Since several years patents and genetically modified plants are used and farmers have lost the right to use seed from the harvest and breeders, the use of patented seeds is increasing; meanwhile the hunger is also increasing. These destructive effects are well known. Most food in the world is grown, collected and harvested by more than a billion small-scale farmers, pastoralists and artisanal fisherfolk. This food is mainly sold, processed, resold and consumed locally, thereby providing the foundation of peoples’ nutrition, incomes and economies across the world.
Yet, the rules that govern food and agriculture at all levels – local, national and international – are designed a priori to facilitate not local, but international trade. This reduces diversity and concentrates the wealth of the world’s food economies in the hands of ever fewer multinational corporations,while the majority of the world’s small-scale food producers, processors, localtraders and consumers including, crucially, the poor and malnourished, are marginalised.
We engage ourselves to:
- train young people on seed issues,
- raise awareness on negative aspects of GMOs and privatisation of seeds
- develop projects that respect the environment
- fight against the privatisation of seeds
- reinforce the role of women to have a better access to seeds
- Establish projects for seed and cereal banks
“Give us today our dailybread”
Hope you will discuss the World Food Day study material we already sent on seed and we call upon you to take actions on the following regard on the basis of your analysis.
The world team of MIJARC is wishing you all the best and a lot of actions for another world!
George Dixon Fernandez, President
Carolin Grieshop, Secretary General
Fr. Florencio Dubé, Chaplain
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