All over the world, small farmers are being forced off their land to make way for corporate agriculture, writes GRAIN – and it’s justified by the need to ‘feed the world’. But it’s the small farmers that are the most productive, and the more their land is grabbed, the more global hunger increases.
The United Nations declared in 2013 the only way to FEED THE WORLD is via #organic #local farms, not #gmo toxic fields in poor soil. 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. As part of the celebrations, the #UN #Food and #Agriculture Organization released its annual ‘State of Food and Agriculture’, which this year is dedicated to family farming.
Family farmers, FAO say, manage 70-80% of the world’s farmland and produce 80% of the world’s food.
But on the ground – whether in Kenya, Brazil, China or Spain – rural people are being marginalised and threatened, displaced, beaten and even killed by a variety of powerful entities who want their land.
FAO claims that only 1% of all farms in the world are larger than 50 hectares, and that these few farms control 65% of the world’s farmland.
Looking at ownership to determine what is and is not a family farm masks all the inequities, injustices and struggles that peasants and other small scale food producers across the world are mired in.
In the last 50 years, a staggering 140 million hectares – the size of almost all the farmland in India – has been taken over by four industrial crops: soya bean, oil palm, rapeseed and sugar cane. And this trend is accelerating.
These crops don’t feed people. They are grown to feed the agro-industrial complex.
The data show that the concentration of farmland in fewer and fewer hands is directly related to the increasing number of people going hungry every day.
According to one UN study, active policies supporting small producers and agro-ecological farming methods could double global food production in a decade and enable small farmers to continue to produce and utilise biodiversity.
Don’t forget – 45% of industrial farming produce is thrown away BEFORE the grocery store and another 45% is thrown away after being purchased.