Hier noch einmal für alle die am Samstag nicht dabei sein konnten die Rede von Daniele Schmidt Peter.
Samstag war großartig und ein großer Schritt auf unserem langem Weg zu Food Sovereignty.
My name is Daniele Schmidt Peter. I come from the Southern region of Brazil and it is a pleasure for me to be here and speak to you about our experience in my country.
I work for CAPA, the Support Center for smallholder farmers, a non-governmental organization founded by the Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil as a reaction to the Green Revolution, which was pushing away the smallholders from the countryside with a new model of agriculture being put into practice.
I come from a family of smallholder farmers. My family works with agroecoly.
After experiencing the labor of tobacco production, the risk of working with pesticides, my family decided to change their way of production, encouraged from the agroecology model presented to them by CAPA.
In Brazil, the family farming is responsible for 70% of the food production. Still, the family farming continues to face challenges. The current agricultural model contributes more and more to the concentration of land and mono-cropping.
Also, Brazil is the largest consumer of pesticides in the world. The average of pesticides consume per person is 5,2 liters per year. And it is clear that this consume is not a consequence of family farming, but a result of the agribusiness of soy beans production and the investment in big companies of genetically modified seeds.
However, I came here today to give a positive input about the changes we are experiencing in Brazil related to food production and support for small farmers.
Throughout the organization of the civil society addressing their needs, especially in the rural areas, the Federal Government of Brazil developed two new state policies for institutional markets:
The first one, the Schools Feeding program buys the production of smallholder farmers and distribute for school feeding. At least 30% of the food for school feeding has to be bought from the family farmers, especially organic products that can have an increase of 30% at the final price paid to farmers.
The introduction of organic food in the schools feeding program promotes food education as well as open ways for new consumers. It also promotes an exchange between rural an urban areas. Children at school can have the opportunity of contact with the farmers knowing from where the food comes from.
The second one, the Zero Hunger program is a specific policy to fight hunger and for commercialization of smallholder products. The program universalizes the purchase of food from smallholder farmers in different regions of the country, with the simultaneously donation to the local social programs of food security.
With the criteria of food sovereignty, the Zero Hunger program guarantees the access of nutritive food for poor people in the urban communities, because it prioritizes the commercialization of products from an agro ecological basis, breaking the paradigm that the access to organic food is a reality only for the rich.
The program recognizes and brings all people involved as active in the process, developing citizenship, also helping to establish relationship among civil society, government small farmers and consumers, increasing the solidarity between the urban and rural communities.
These two programs are local alternatives to face hunger, recognizing and valuing the potential of family farming in the region, expanding the ecological production and integrating communities historically marginalized from development processes: the quilombolas – descendents of slaves, agrarian reform settlers and fishermen. At the same time, the program valorizes and includes women, the principal responsible for food production in rural areas.
The commercialization for the federal programs guarantees market for the farmers, fair prices and guarantee of payment, increasing the rural families’ income.
In consequence of these programs, the rural areas in Brazil are revitalized and the agrobiodiversity has been conserved. The smallholders are encouraged to continue working to produce food as they have the guarantee of market.
This program is showing us that it is not the investment in big companies, concentration of land or production of soy and tobacco for exportation that can overcome poverty and face hunger. Clearly as smallholders we don’t need the soy bean exports to Europe. We have much better alternatives.
In Brazil, we have seen that only the investment in food production with the engagement of civil society can be a chance to include people and overcome the reality of poverty in the world. In Brazil, the smallholder farmers are feeding the poor.
It is so nice that all of us have come together here to push for different agriculture policies that really focus in the needs of family farmers, consumers, the poor and the environment. I hope that Germany and the European Union can learn from our experience .Let’s move to food sovereignty.