Recent United Nations data show that close to a third of the world’s population does not have access to quality food that adequately meets its basic needs. This so-called food insecurity affects an increasing number of families. About 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger. Paradoxically, most of them are smallholders farmers.
How do you ensure the right to food while trying to protect the environment? The agro-industrial model shows its limits to cope with these challenges. Many scientific studies and our experience on the ground show the potential of agro-ecological transition in ensuring the right to food as well as a dignified life for farmers, all while respecting the environment.
To support this transition, we work with families, farm groups and consumers in West Africa, East Africa and in Latin America for the long term. To have a sustainable impact, we combine three additional areas of work
- We support small-scale farming families to help them improve, increase and diversify their production. They can then ensure food security all year long.
- We accompany families and farmer organisations to help them improve storage capacities, as well as the processing and marketing of their produce. These families can then improve their living conditions, send their children to school, pay for health care, re-invest in their farm, …
- We mobilise community leaders and educate consumers to be part of the agro-ecological movement in their region.
In order to meet these objectives, we work with local expert organisations that know the context particularly well and share our vision.
And in Belgium?
In Europe, our food system also has its limits. The number of farms is decreasing every year, which creates the phenomenon of a concentration of lands and means of production. Farmers are faced with more frequent droughts and flooding. Soil quality and biodiversity are being eroded as a result of the impacts of our food consumption method on our environment. Moreover, a significant portion of the population does not have access to a healthy and balanced diet.
So, we are taking several approaches in Belgium: informing, raising awareness, mobilising, and advocating to individuals and politicians in order to promote solidarity and global citizenship, and by extension, promote sustainable food systems. We search for systemic solutions to respond to the global challenges, to fight against individualism and fatalism, and to foster international solidarity.