Food Sovereignty and Ecological Agriculture Programme

Food Sovereignty is the inalienable RIGHT of peoples, communities, and countries to define, decide and implement their own agricultural, labour, fishing, food and land policies which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their unique circumstances. Rights of small producers; indigenous peoples for self-determination; gender justice in food and agriculture; and rights of agricultural workers are part of this struggle and are directly linked to the right to life and livelihoods.

Therefore, access and rights to land, natural resources, biodiversity and other productive resources (i.e. genuine agrarian and fisheries reforms) are critical to poverty alleviation in the rural areas. Without this access, poor food producers cannot sustainably and efficiently use the land, forests and resources to improve their livelihood options. Food Sovereignty also includes the right to food and to produce food sustainably with practices that protect human health, biodiversity and the environment.

As the process of globalisation and its implementing institutions such as the World Trde Prganisation (WTO) and bilateral trade agreements is confronting communities in various countries in Asia and elsewhere, a key area of concern and action is the impact of corporate agriculture on people’s lives.

Trade now determines agriculture and food policies at the national and international levels. Trade policies have supported agricultural production for export as well as exploitation of natural resources and biodiversity that profit a handful of TNCs (transnational corporations) and the elites. The expansion of corporate farming such as plantations and contract farming perpetuate exploitation and massive land grabbing. As a result, food producers themselves such as peasants and farmers are losing their control over their productive resources such as land, seeds, water, sustainable or ecological farming knowledge and other aspects of biodiversity.

PAN AP deems Food Sovereignty and Ecological Agriculture not only as its overall goal but also as a tool in organising and empowering small producers’ (peasants, agricultural workers, rural women and indigenous communities) movements to assert their rights. Food Sovereignty also provides an alternative and comprehensive platform against corporate monopoly on food and agriculture.

The Food Sovereignty and Ecological Agriculture aims to strengthen peasant-led struggle for land and climate change-resilient communities.

Through the Food Sovereignty and Ecological Agriculture Programme’s fact finding missions, campaigns and lobby support, PAN AP successfully highlighted the struggles of the small food producers and indigenous peoples’ communities garnering support from the international community. The Programme also focuses on the promotion of, and support for, sustainable and healthy agriculture practices in the region. Our policy research and articles remain relevant to both the struggles of the small food producers and the civil society organisations (CSOs) in their policy advocacy.

PAN AP is well situated with a strong network of people’s organisations and CSOs and through its strong partnerships with various coalitions working on TNCs, globalisation, women, agricultural workers and peasants, to collectively and strategically confront the threats to people’s rights to food and agriculture.