'Food and agriculture in North-South Relations'
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4,5,6 and 7th of March 1999, Barcelona
'Food and agriculture in North-South Relations'
Context: The free market in foodstuffs in claimed to be the best solution
to world hunger. According to this dogma, the elimination of trade barriers
allows all countries to profit from their comparative advantatges, which in
turn benefits local communities because in this way, we are assured, they
will be able to buy imported foodstuffs at lower prices.
After the Uruguay round, while the countries of the South have been
obliged to remove subsidies for agricultural productions, subsidies for
farmers in the northern countries have been strengthened.
Far from eradicating hungr, trade liberalisation is worsesning the problem
of insecurity of food supply by forcing the South's producers to compete,
at a disadvantage, eith subsidised agricultural systems od the
At the same time, trade liberalisation is spreading the exploitation of the
Earth's biodiversity, encouraging the processes leading to a concentration
of land ownership, increasing the rural worker's dependence on
transnational corporations and promoting these corporations'monopolisaation
of genetic and agricultural resources.
The international meeting "Food qaand Agriculture in South-North
Relations" is part of the informative
project "Natural Resources, Biodiversity and Interdepencencein South-North
Relations". This is a programme of information, education and raising
public awareness. It has the following aims:
· create public awareness of the social and environmental repercussions of
this model of development in the food and agricultural sector
· help those persons and groups working against the inequality and
injustice caused by this econonmic model, by giving them the chance to
express their views
· Economic Context. South- North Trade Relations
First Session: Thursday Evening
· Trade Globalisation: Its impact on food production and trade flows
between South and North. The role of other development actors (development
agencies, developmental NGOs, financial intitutions, governments). Social
an economic consequences.
- Bob Sutcliffe (HEGOA). (Department of Applied Economics, University of
Bilbao) Economic globalization and the 'development machine'. The role of
development agencies and NGOs..
- Alice Hodgson (Changement des femmes/WIDE).- A feminist critique of the
Neo-liberal, market oriented, view of the economy; Gender and Environment
- Nanjunda Swamy (KRRS trade union, Karnataka, India). The agricultural
model in the South. Trade disadvantages of globalisation. Seed imperialism
- Henk Hobbelink (GRAIN - Genetic Resources Action International) The
privatization of biodiversity and knowledge of it. The importance of the
traditional system of innovation. The role of the multinationals in the
- Moderator : Federica Carraro (SODePAZ)
Second Session: Friday evening
· Impact of the agricultural model on different social sectors
(land-workers, indigenous people, consumers, etc.) and on natural resources
(water, soil, energy and biodiversity).
Helen Groome (EHNE - Union of Basque Farmers): Food sovereignty and its
repercussions for the environment.
Ayman Rabi (Palestinian Hydrology Group, PHG). Geopolitics of water
resources in the Mediterranean area.
Irene Manfio (MST - Brazilian Landless Rural Workers Movement). The
industrial agriculture model and the concentration of land.
Moderator: Isabel Bermejo (Ecologistas en Acción)
Third session: Saturday morning
Practical experience: proposals and alternatives to the existing model.
- The mobilization of peasants' movements in India. Nanjunda Swamy (KRRS,
Karnataka - India)
- Gender questions in organic farming in Cuba. Niurka Pérez Roja
(Sociologist, University of Havana)
- The struggle for land reformof the M.S.T. (landless workers movement in
Brazil). Martina Unterberger, MST.
- The use of water resources in Palestine. Ayman Rabi (PHG)
- Communal and sustanaible forest mangement in Ecuador. Froilan Viteri (OPIP)
- Project to recover varieties of rice. Encouragement of biodiversity and
the struggle for land.Emmanuel Yap (MASIPAG, Phillipine Islands)
- Relations between community restaurants and producer sectors in Peru.
Miriam Bustamente, (Taller Micaela Bastida, TMB, Peru).
- Regional Market Project in Northern Africa based on non-neo-liberal
principles. Laheen Daoudhi(University, Law, Fez, Morocco).
- Proposal for a regional development which is human, ecological and
sustainable in terms of culture and genderin westen plateau Guatemala.
Henry Morales López (Movimiento Tzuk Kimpop, Guatemala).
Fourth session: Saturday Evening
a) Practical experience of agriculture and commercialization in Spain.
- The importance of family farming. Responses to the agricultural policies
of the European Union (CAP piar Galindo, (Coordinadora de Organizaciones de
Agricultores y Ganaderos).
- Rural settlements and agro-ecology in Andalusia. Eduardo Sevilla Gúzman,
Instituto Sociológico de
- Cooperative for local consumers in the North. Pedro Manrique. GERMINAL
- The future of agriculture in our country. Alternatives and responses to
the CAP. Unió de Pagesos.
- Mujeres que alimentan la vida. Anna Bosch and Inés Amoroso.
b) Chaired conference:
· Fair trade: Is it a tool or an alternative for mobilising movements
critical of the unequal situation of interdependence north- South?
Xavier Montagut (SODePAU), Rafael Sanchis (INTERMON), José Antonio Alonso
(Economist, Madrid Complutense University) Saturnino Mamami Patxi
(Cooperative"El Ceibo", Bolivia)
Moderator: Rafael Grasa, President, Catalan Federation of NGDOs.
Block 4 Fifth session: Sunday morning
· New genetic technologies in food and agriculture. Lack of transparency
and possible dangers of biotechnology and transgenic foodstuffs.
Paco Fernández Buey (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) Epistemological critique of
biotechnology. The subordination of science by political and economic powers.
Isabel Bermejo (Ecologistas en Acción), Socio-environmental consequences of
Ana Rosa Martinez (GRAIN): the need for another research paradigm. From
genetic reductionism to systematic thought.
Moderator: Gregoio Alvaro Campos (Ecologistas en Acción)
CONCLUSIONS AND CLOSE OF MEETING J.M. Navarro (SODePAU/SODePAZ): Includes
the presentation of the International Campaign of Global Action of the
People against the World Trade Organization which will take place in
May-June of 1999.
Place: Auditori d'Agora Jordi Rubió i Balaguer. Universitat Pompeu Fabra
C/ Ramon Trias 25
Metro: Line 4, "Ciutadella-Vila Olimpica" stop.
Subsription fees: 16 Euros (please send us the
receipt of your payment+ your name)
Modes of payment: Bank transfer to current account: La Caixa;
C/Ferran 35 Bis
Account number: 2100 0546 09 0200191785
For more information:
C/ Avinyó 29, baixos,
Tel: 93 268 2202; Fax: 93 268 1962 ;
Ms. Renske van Staveren, Coordinator
International Forum on Food & Agriculture (IFA)
c/o Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)
2105 First Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN, USA 55404-2505
ph: 612-870-3423 fax: 612-870-4846
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
When I ask why the poor have no food,
they call me a communist." - Dom Helder Camara
please note the new telephone and fax #s:
A SEED Europe
General: +31 20 668 2236
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