Agrarian reform in the context of food sovereignty, the right to food and cultural diversity: “land, territory and dignity” | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Enero 2006
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Through an analysis of the right to adequate food and the right to land, this civil society report, argued that achieving food sovereignty requires agrarian reform. The paper therefore calls for a new redistributive land reform that recognises indigenous territories and respects and balances the needs of diverse rural peoples.Highlighting territory as a more inclusive and important concept than just land, the authors emphasise that redistributive land reform in the context of food sovereignty must be designed through processes in which local communities take leadership, and which address the needs and demands of diverse groups. The paper defines the policies required for agrarian reform and rural development to truly contribute to poverty reduction, environmental protection, and the enhancement of broad based economic growth, and also explains the fundamental pillars of food sovereignty.Arguing for an original and genuine agrarian reform, backed by the right to adequate food and food sovereignty, the paper suggests that the following might be useful guidelines for achieving this:internationally recognised legal instruments support calls for genuine agrarian reform, food sovereignty, and the rights to territory and self determinationwhen families receive land they must not be saddled with heavy debt burdenssecure tenure and/or access rights are critical to ensuring long term food security for families and communities. Without this, it is difficult to invest in land improvement, means of production, and conservation measureswomen must have the right to hold title to landredistributed land must be of good quality, rather than ecologically fragile soils which should never be farmed, and it must be free of disputed claims by other poor peoplethe rights of indigenous and other peoples to land and common property resources must be guaranteed and protected, as must their right to manage them using customary law and traditionthere must be a supportive policy environment and essential services like credit on reasonable terms, infrastructure, support for ecologically sound technologies, and access to markets and fair pricesdamaging free trade policies and dumping should be replaced by a food sovereignty perspective which places the highest priority on national production for national marketsthe power of rural elites must be effectively broken by the reformsthe vast majority of the rural poor must be beneficiaries of the reform processsuccessful reforms are distinguished from failed ones by a motivation that new small family farms are the centerpiece of economic development, rather than a 'welfare' mechanismstrong grassroots movements are critical to pushing the reform process.

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