Most food in the world is grown, collected and harvested by more than a billion small-scale farmers, pastoralists and artisanal fisherfolk.
This food is mainly sold, processed, resold and consumed locally, thereby providing the foundation of peoples’ nutrition, incomes and economies across the world. In sub Saharan Africa, for example, women produce 70 per cent of the food, mainly for local consumption (Commission for Africa 2005). At a time when halving world poverty and eradicating hunger, in a world plagued simultaneously and perversely by hunger and obesity, are at the forefront of the international development agenda, reinforcing the diversity and vibrancy of local food systems should also be at the forefront of the international policy agenda.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 36.2 (2005) Corporate Control Over Seeds: Limiting Access and Farmers’ Rights