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The first Food Sovereignty and Security Meeting will take place on Friday, in Montevideo, Uruguay, where several national organizations and institutions will join social movements from different parts of the world in the celebration of World Food Sovereignty Day. The activity will take place in the main offices of the national central union, PIT-CNT.
Members of the Uruguayan Nutrition Union, the Central Extension and Activities Services of the University of the Republic (UdelaR), the Nutrition School of UdelaR, REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay, the Latin American and Caribbean Agroecological Movement (MAELA Uruguay) and Slow Food Uruguay are part of the Organization Committee of this event. The activity also has the support of the Agroecology Network of the country.
According to a press release by REDES-FoE Uruguay, this Food Sovereignty and Security Meeting responds to the need to generate discussion and consensus spaces related to this issue. The main goal is to give way to a space where to build common strategies among social organizations and institutions of the country and the region, and to act jointly to raise awareness on the problems they face, while advancing towards the collective building of solutions.
The idea is to discuss the implications of the Food Sovereignty concept, sharing the work carried out by the organizations and defining actions to deepen and promote the issue. “REDES-FoE believes that valuing the Food Sovereignty principle and what it implies in terms of the use of natural resources, the saving and conservation of native seeds, the policies to promote family production and agroecological production, are absolutely key in the current situation of our country”, reads the press release issued today by the environmentalist organization.
“This is a principle around which social movements of peasants, women, young people, environmentalists and other actors from different parts of the world gather in favor of a real solution to the global food crisis”, it adds. “By claiming food sovereignty, we are challenging land grabbing, land foreignization, water privatization, the advance of GM technology -with its impacts on human health and the loss of biodiversity, the advance of agribusiness in general, among other things”, summarized REDES-FoE.
The debate around food sovereignty in Uruguay also puts on the table the amount of food consumed by the population of the country, its origin and how it is produced. In Uruguay, some GM varieties are produced, among them RR soy of US company Monsanto, which covers 1 million hectares. Another million is destined to tree monoculture plantations for the cellulose industry. In Uruguay, there are 16 million hectares of arable lands. Two of them already belong to the soy and forestry agribusiness. In this context, REDES is also concerned about the use of agrotoxics in these monocultures and rice plantations, which have cause serious environmental impacts and the health of the local population in several parts of the country.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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