Investing in agriculture for food sovereignty

How can we get investment that primarily improves food provision and livelihoods instead of just increasing corporate profit, that supports ecological and biodiverse production rather than degrading the environment, that is based in land and seed rights not in dispossessing them?

How can we ensure that small-scale food producers and those most vulnerable to hunger are heard in making decisions on investment in agriculture?

How can we resist corporate driven projects such as the G8’s New Alliance?

At the start of 2014, the UN’s Year of Family Farming, these were the questions discussed at a UK Food Group conference. The event was held on 16 January 2014 at Friends House in London. It was co-sponsored by the EuropAfrica campaign, and builds upon a 2013 report by three African farmers networks, ROPPA, PROPAC and EAFF, on investing in agriculture: Family farmers for sustainable food systems.


Welcome and introduction:

Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food gave the keynote address:

Mamadou Goïta, ROPPA and IRPAD Afrique spoke on investing in smallholder agriculture. Goïta was one of the authors of a recent UN report on this subject:

Elisabeth Mpofu, international coordinator of Vía Campesina and chair of ZIMSOFF, spoke about the role of farmers movements:

Teresa Anderson, Gaia Foundation spoke on seed diversity:

Kenneth Richter, Friends of the Earth, spoke on land grabbing, starting by showing a film testimony from Uganda:

Nora McKeon, Terra Nuova and EuropAfrica, spoke on international rules and the UN Committee on World Food Security:

Heidi Chow, WDM spoke on challenging corporate power:

Concluding remarks from Olivier and Elizabeth

These videos can also be viewed on YouTube.

Conference videos by Benedict Mann.

EU-logoEuropAfricaLogoSmallThis event was funded by the project “Awareness raising on the relations between European policies and agricultural development in Africa”, co- funded by the European Commission | DCI – NSAED/2010/240-529.