This Sunday, World Food Day will be marked by mobilization against hunger and agribusiness
By Lays Furtado
From the MST web site
Sunday, October 16th marks the World Day of Food and Food Sovereignty, and will be a date with mobilizations of social movements linked to Via Campesina around the world.
The entity that represents several organizations of the rural working class, promotes – among the group of organizations it integrates – a whole day of actions to expand the demand for Food Sovereignty, denounce the destructive expansion and violations of human rights promoted by transnational agribusiness corporations that increase hunger and food insecurity in the world.
During the international milestone – whose date was chosen to commemorate the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945 – the organizations that make up Via Campesina carry out actions, protests, planting, food donations, discussions and training courses, aimed at reflecting on food in the world, with the motto: “Action for the Food Sovereignty of Peoples against Transnational Corporations”.
According to this year’s data from the report released by FAO, released together with other entities that make up the United Nations (UN), there are currently at least 828 million people suffering from hunger around the world, and about 30% of the population global do not have access to adequate food.
“It is unacceptable for the population to go hungry when there is enough food for everyone”, according to the protesting organizations who know that there is enough food production in the world. In other words, what defines who eats or not is social inequality.
Agribusiness feeds hunger and environmental destruction
The situation tends to get worse with the increase of these social inequalities and human rights violations aggravated by capitalism, generating a global crisis that widens the margin of extreme poverty and hungry families that do not even have access to these foods.
“Most of the food produced, instead of feeding people, is used as agrofuel and animal feed. We reject this neoliberal model that goes against our collective vision of solidarity, harmony with nature, justice, unity and peace”, the organizations that make up Via Campesina collectively denounce, emphasizing the responsibility of agribusiness corporations as agents of hunger and environmental destruction in areas where healthy food should be produced for the population.
In addition to not fulfilling the fundamental role of guaranteeing the right to food sovereignty, agribusiness, as an arm of a perverse and unprecedented liberalism, threatens not only the environment, but also the right to life. “The effects of the capitalist system on the environment and climate are causing serious damage to our planet, representing a growing existential threat to humanity”, emphasizes La Via Campesina, which opposes such an initiative by promoting peasant agroecology and the defense of Food Sovereignty.
Why are we hungry?
As a guideline of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), throughout this month of October, once again the Landless peasant families destined the production of their gardens and cooperatives to satisfy the hunger of those who need it most at this moment, promoting including the principle of solidarity in sharing food made together with our children, during this year’s National Day of Landless Children.
More than simply sharing food, it is hoped that during the exchange of experiences with the communities involved, the discussion can be raised about: Why do we go hungry? Elucidating the possible ways out of this condition of vulnerability, which cross the rural and urban peripheries across the country.
Currently, about 33.1 million Brazilians live in a situation of hunger, and 125.2 million Brazilians live with some degree of food insecurity, a number that corresponds to more than half (58.7%) of the population of the country. There are 14 million more than in 2020, in a picture equivalent to the 1990s. The data are from the 2nd National Survey on Food Insecurity in the Context of the Covid-19 Pandemic in Brazil, carried out by the Brazilian Research Network on Food Sovereignty and Security and Nutritional (PENSSAN Network).
Compared to 2020, food insecurity increased by 7.2%. In relation to 2018, the advance reaches 60%. According to the coordination of the PENSSAN Network, the loss of food security in Brazil is directly related to government action, considering that public policies to combat extreme poverty developed between 2004 and 2013 restricted hunger to only 4.2% of Brazilian households.
I Festival of Food Culture and Popular Participation in São Paulo
During the framework of the mobilizations of the World Day of Food and Food Sovereignty, the MST will be together with several entities that work in the fight against hunger, during the 1st Festival of Food Culture and Popular Participation, which takes place at the Food Security Reference Center and Nutritional (CRESAN) of Vila Maria, at Rua Sobral Junior, 264, in São Paulo, with the support of the Municipal Food Bank of São Paulo.
The Festival will have a large program and is open to the public this Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, with cultural activities, workshops and food.
Among the confirmed activities, there will be a public class with the presence of João Pedro Stédile, from the national leadership of the MST, the Cinema Entretodos show – aimed at both adults and children – in addition to a symbolic act of delivering public policy guidelines developed to the Municipal Council for Food and Nutrition Security of São Paulo (COMUSAN-SP), with recommendations on the II Municipal Plan for Food and Nutrition Security (PLAMSAN) of São Paulo/SP.
*Edited by Solange Engelmann