Agriculture and Trade Group
of the Hemispheric Social Alliance

 

Lima Declaration on the Agriculture and Food Crisis

In recent months the entire world has been living in a crisis of food prices. In Latin America, the most relevant expressions of this situation have taken shape in Haiti, Argentina, Peru and Mexico. Day by day the rural and urban populations are experiencing a sharp deterioration in their quality of life, threatening the construction of societies where dignity and rights prevail.

We – organizations of farmers, women, unions, ecologists, researchers and consumers that are members of the Hemispheric Social Alliance working on themes of agriculture and food – declare that:

The crisis is the result of:

1. More than 20 years of total abandonment of the rural sector and family agriculture, and a focus that annulled their sustainable capacity to produce food.

2. The agricultural model of the enriched countries with subsidies for protected agriculture, the considerable increase in the costs of production that enables their technological development such as intellectual property rights, the production of agri-fuels, and the monopoly control of the distribution of food.

3. The increased cost of foods that makes it impossible for countries to fulfil their duty to guarantee the basic human right of access to food.

4. Under-estimating and ignoring the role and contribution of women in the production of food through the design and implementation of development strategies and adoption of trade liberalization policies. From the perspective of gender, these policies are not neutral, given that they have and a very adverse effect on the living conditions of women and on their possibilities to contribute to family, local and regional access to food.

5. The current international economic order that obeys the neo-liberal project and economic policies that are counter to the goals of agri-food sustainability and food sovereignty in our country, such as those applied within the framework of the World Trade Organization, the Free Trade Agreements already approved with the United States and under discussion with the European Union.

Given the above-described situation:

1. We uphold the content of the “Alternatives for the Americas” document of the H.S.A. which proposed a model of agriculture that is contrary to the imposed neo-liberal model. In the proposals that we elaborated and approved, we describe the incompatibility between the free market and development that is focused on dignified life or good living for the men and women of the region.

2. We support the proposals from some governments to respect, protect and guarantee the universal right to food, achieved through policies, actions and concrete measures.

3. In this vein, we salute the Presidential Declaration of the Food Sovereignty Summit of May 8 of this year that emphasized the real causes of the present crisis and proposed structural solutions to the problem. By taking up the proposals and the alternatives developed by our organizations with regard to a model of food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture – agrarian reform, fair trade, sustainable technologies, use of local (“creole”) seeds, accessible credit, technical assistance, etc. – the role of the State is re-asserted in national peasant-farmer food production.

4. We ask for active and positive participation in a proposal for a Program for Sovereignty in Solidarity and Food Security in the countries of Meso-America and the Caribbean.

5. We call on Heads of State and Parliamentarians in the countries of the Caribbean and the European Union not to ratify the EPAs (Economic Partnership Agreements) because these treaties will only deepen the food crisis faced by the people of the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

6. We demand that the governments of the European Union and Latin America take their historic responsibility to incorporate into their cooperation discussions the content of the Proposal for Sovereignty and Food Security agreed to in the Managua Declaration of May 8.

Signed:

CONOC/México
CNPA/México
BARZON/México
CLOC/Chile
ANAMURI/ Chile
Grupo de Agricultura de REBRIP/ Brasil
FETRAF/Brasil
Plataforma Rural Chilena por la Tierra y la Vida
Red de Género y Economía (IGTN)
CEICOM/El Salvador
Federación Agraria Argentina
Common Frontiers-Canada
Réseau québécois sur l’intégration continentale (RQIC)
Iniciativa contra los Agronegocios (AAI)

And others....

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