- Barza Wire - https://wire.farmradio.fm -

Notes to broadcasters on FAO summit:

 The official theme of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) high-level conference on world food security was, “the challenges of climate change and bioenergy.” But, while issues of climate change and bioenergy remained on the agenda, the meeting quickly became known as “the food crisis” summit, with a strong focus on resolving the negative impacts of recent hike in global food prices. There was a lot of talk about the importance of farmers, especially small-scale farmers in developing countries. FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said that small-scale farmers must have access to inputs such as seeds, fertilizer, and animal feed, and called on donors to join the FAO in supporting programs to make this happen – which they did (http://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2008/1000858/index.html [1]).

But representatives of the very farmers that the FAO intends to support had a different view. Farmer leaders quoted in this story felt strongly that African governments must be able to subsidize their farmers, thereby supporting farmers’ work to feed their fellow citizens – a position contrary to the resolution signed [2] at the end of the conference. In fact, hundreds of farmer and civil society groups held a parallel conference to the FAO summit in Rome, Italy, called Terra Preta. These groups felt that the voices of small-scale farmers, fishers, herders, indigenous people, and NGOs were not being heard at the summit, and decried the summit resolution as “empty policies for empty plates.”

Many audio and video clips, representing speakers at the FAO summit and the alternative Terra Preta summit, are available online, at the following locations:
-Audio clips from the FAO Newsroom: http://www.fao.org/audiocatalogue/index.jsp?lang=EN [3]
-Audio and video clips from World Social Forum TV: http://www.wsftv.net/ [4]

For additional radio resources on the debate over further trade liberalization and its impact on small-scale producers, please see the following:
-“Farmers fear Economic Partnership Agreements with Europe threaten their livelihoods [5]” (FRW Issue 6, January 2008)
-“The trial of the international monetary system [6]” (Package 78, Script 7, July 2006)