A TALK WITH: MARIA NERI FROM CONZARRD, AN NGO FOCUSING ON AGRARIAN REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT IN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES.
7:15PM THURSDAY 17TH OF NOVEMBER
FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, JESUS LANE, CAMBRIDGE.
OPEN TO ALL – FREE FOR ALL.
Rapidly rising food prices are one of the most immediate ways that the economic crisis hits the poorest people. It led to riots in many parts of the world in 2010 and was a significant factor in igniting the Arab Spring. Millions are dying of starvation in Africa and it’s easy to assume that this is because we aren’t
producing enough food to feed everyone. In fact food production has become increasingly globalised and distorted since the 1970s with the result that a handful of countries now dominate the trade in staple foods.
This leaves the most vulnerable countries at the mercy of those who dominate the trade. Global warming
compounds the problem through drought. The rich countries of the north have imposed so called “liberalisation” on poorer countries – often through institutions like the International Monetary Fund –
and subsidising agribusiness at the expense of the most vulnerable.
Agribusiness and GM crops have pushed up yields in a way that destroys the environment and denies food to hungry people. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez hit the nail on the head when he said that the food crisis is “the greatest demonstration of the historical failure of the capitalist model.
Socialist Resistance and Green Left argue for an ecosocialist approach to the problem where the people who produce food have the right to determine their own agricultural policies, free from interference from the
multinationals or international institutions with their neo-liberal policies such as the IMF and the World Bank.
These issues are not discussed enough on the left and this seminar gives us a unique opportunity to do so.
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