Sowing Hunger, Reaping Profits – A Food Crisis by Design


Vandana Shiva | Navdanya International – TRANSCEND Media Service

14 Jul 2022 – Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, headlines have been dominated by the warnings of risk in global food supply shortages and rising global food prices, all due to the conflict. But, according to many international groups, there is currently no risk of global food supply shortages. So why are so many countries now facing an increased risk of food insecurity, and in worst cases famine?

What is crucially being overlooked by most diagnoses of the current food crisis is how the problem does not lie in a lack of supply, or lack of market integration, but instead in how the food system is structured around power.

Detailed in this new report by Navdanya International, is how, in fact, we have already been facing a food and malnutrition crisis long before the current conflict.

From the colonial era, which saw the beginning of extraction and exploitation of small farmers, to the advent of the Green Revolution, and the concretizing of the globalized free trade regime, we have seen the deliberate destruction of small farmers and food sovereignty in favor of corporate power.

Therefore, it is no coincidence that today we are witnessing the third major food crisis in the last 15 years. 

What the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has once again laid bare is just how fragile globalized food systems are. The current globalized, industrial agrifood system is a food system that creates hunger by design.

Worst of all, international institutions, governments and corporate actors are using the current crisis, as they have used every crisis: to further consolidate this failed model. False solutions and the redundant calls for failed approaches abound in headlines and international responses.

The current crisis should be a wake up call to the imperative of building resilience in food systems through agroecology, local food chains and by strengthening small farmers. Now more than ever will a food systems transformation toward Food Sovereignty, based on agroecology and increasing biodiversity, help act as a lasting solution to hunger.  All over the world, many are following the path of Poison-free Food and Farming, and are transitioning to an ecological and democratic path, putting the food system in the hands of communities, women, farmers, and consumers. Only through local, agroecological food systems will systemic dependence on fertilizers, commodity farming, import dependencies, and systematic poverty be challenged. This is the most powerful means to regain our agriculture, our territories, our food, our natural environment, and our future.

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Call to Action

From the 2nd to the 16th of October (and beyond…), we invite you to join people and communities around the globe, and work together to launch a Campaign for Our Bread, Our Freedom, to take back our Seed, Food, Democracy and Freedom, and celebrate our seeds, our soils, our land, our territories, to create an Earth Democracy based on Living Seed, Living Soil, healthy communities and living economies of care.

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Navdanya and the Navdanya movement were created by Dr. Vandana Shiva 30 years ago in India to defend Seed and Food sovereignty and small farmers around the world. Navdanya pioneered the movement of seed saving and seed freedom, which began in response to the crisis of erosion of agricultural biodiversity and introduction of GMOs and patents on seeds through intellectual property rights (IPRs) and so-called ‘free trade’ agreements. It has long fought against biopiracy, the patenting of indigenous knowledge by self-interested multinational corporations and won cases related to Neem, basmati rice and wheat in India. Navdanya promotes a new agricultural and economic paradigm, a culture of food for health, where ecological responsibility and economic justice replace the present greed, consumerism and competition which have become dominant in society. It aims at regaining the common good as a foundation for a renewed sense of community, solidarity and culture of peace. We strive to achieve these goals through the conservation, renewal and rejuvenation of the gifts of biodiversity we have received from nature and our ancestors, and to defend these gifts as commons. More…

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