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Organic Consumers Association

Farmers Not Invited to Food Summit?

World farmers are not part of the official delegations at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) food summit on food security that opened here Monday. But they came anyhow to express their views, since, they say, it is their communities that are most impacted by the food crisis.

[Activists from the International Peasant Movement (La Via Campesina) take part in a demonstration outside the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome November 16, 2009. (REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito)]Activists from the International Peasant Movement (La Via Campesina) take part in a demonstration outside the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome November 16, 2009. (REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito) Small-scale producers from the Amazonian rainforest, from Africa, the Pacific islands and the Himalayas gathered in Rome for the Peoples' Food Sovereignty Forum (Nov. 13-17), held in parallel to the FAO meetings, to discuss the serious effects of the crisis in their communities.

Small farmers and other small food producers number more than 1.5 billion in the world, the civil society forum estimates. "They produce more than 75 percent of the world's food needs through peasant agriculture and small scale livestock production, and with artisanal fishing," organisers say.

According to the FAO, the number of hungry people rose this year to 1.02 billion people, as a result of the global economic crisis, high food and fuel prices, drought and conflict.

"The amount of hungry people announced by the FAO includes, for the vast majority, those who produce food," Antonio Onorati, of the International Civil Society Planning Committee (IPC), told IPS. "And this represents the most incredible aspect of hunger."


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