The fight over who will control our food, countryside and natural resources is heating up.
Today, April 17th, marks the International Day of Peasant Struggles. These ‘peasants’, or paysan in French, are the millions of small farmers who currently produce the majority of the world’s food. They are the David struggling against the agribusiness Goliath – the large corporations consolidating control over global food production.
There is little in common between these two sides. The former know that food sovereignty and small-scale ecological farming can feed the world – with food production fully in the hands of producers and consumers. The latter desire a resource intensive, chemical-based industrial farming model where control over seeds, chemicals, machinery, distribution and most importantly profits, sits in the hands of corporations.
In the last month the European Commission approved the merger of Dow Chemicals and DuPont, and Chinese state company ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta. Next up is the potential merger of Bayer and Monsanto – a ‘marriage made in hell’. These are some of the biggest agricultural companies ever known, true Goliaths, with market power that sends shudders through small-scale farmers worldwide.