06/18/2008, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Anti-hunger activists: no to FAO proposals, aim for "food sovereignty"

by Melani Manel Perera
Back from the "Terra Petra" forum, parallel to the FAO meeting in Rome, the activist Kumara attacks the solutions of world leaders, "the same for more than 10 years", and explains the urgency of giving small producers the possibility of choosing their activities.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The world food crisis will not be resolved with the solutions offered by the recent FAO summit in Rome (June 4-5), which reproduce exactly the ones from the recent meetings of this kind, from 1996 until today.  The denunciation comes from Herman Kumara, a Sri Lankan activist who participated in the "Terra Preta" Forum held in tandem with the summit of the Food and Agriculture Organization.  The forum unites the leaders of 120 NGOs, journalists, and anti-hunger activists.

"The proposals offered by world leaders are not suited to the problem", Kumara told AsiaNews after his return to Sri Lanka. "The UN delegates and the heads of state repeated objectives and commitments from the previous declarations in 1996 and 2002.  In 1974, the FAO summit set the goal of defeating hunger within 10 years; among the Millennium goals is also that of cutting in half the number of people suffering from hunger by 2015, but until now, this number has only risen".

The activist recalls that the greatest political change must be the introduction and application of the concept of "food sovereignty, which involves the study of farming and fishing reforms".  "Small producers", he continues, "are the ones who contribute the most to feeding the poor in the world; there needs to be a model of production that permits them to decide what they will produce and how and what they will sell.  The current involvement of the big multinational companies in the control of resources will not help to resolve the food crisis".

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