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16 de noviembre de 2015 | |

Uruguay: summary of 3rd Food Sovereignty, Education and Territoriality Forum

Food sovereignty and its implications on education, territorial sovereignty, public policies on access to land and the promotion of agrifood systems based on social and environmental justice; the right to an inclusive rural development with special emphasis on the role of women. These topics were at the heart of the discussions and exchanges held at the 3rd Food Sovereignty, Education and Territoriality Forum.

As with the two previous editions, the forum gathered participants from different social organizations and family farmer groups that work to save and value local seeds, agroecological production, food sovereignty, the rights of rural women, the rights to land, and also professors of the University of the Republic and institutional actors committed to building policies and actions towards the food sovereignty perspective.
We also shared the international approach of the Alliance for the Food Sovereignty of Latin American and Caribbean People and the International Planning Committee of the FAO.

Our country, in the context of the agribusiness paradigm, suffers the environmental, economic and social consequences of the commodification and financialization of natural resources, territories, genetic resources and food markets. And this has resulted in the emergence of resistance spaces towards the building of a critical, social, political, educational mass, necessary to turn food sovereignty proposals into concrete actions.

The concept of the food sovereignty principle and right, created by la Via Campesina in the past decade, has been growing in its perspectives, reaching more and more social, political, national, regional and international levels.

In the case of Uruguay, in 2012 we carried out our first Forum where we worked on food, consequences of agribusiness and market/solidarity economy. At the event held in September 2014 in Tacuarembo department, we focused on the threats, achievements and challenges of food sovereignty and on issues such as land grabbing, land concentration and foreignization and also the collective processes for access to land by the Uruguayan Colonization Institute and family farmer and rural worker groups.

This third Forum also focused on the historical disputes in the rural area, it incorporated the National Agroecology Plan, territorial proposals and the public education component for Food Sovereignty.

In this way, the thematic table that addressed the public education issue highlighted that education needs to be led by a collective political project that allows to generate conditions for autonomy, breaking with the logic and schemes determined by the capitalist system that does not educate for diversity, autonomy and sovereignty.
Therefore, the building of alternatives within the framework of food sovereignty includes educational policies, contents and practices as a necessary condition.

Agroecology is a key component of food sovereignty. Agroecology as a way of living, as a model and system of production and consumption and also as a science, with exchanges of knowledge where farmers, seed keepers, artisanal fisherfolk, among others, are key players.

Food production based on native seeds, strengthening agribiodiversity, the development of own technologies based on research and developments that include the needs of rural families, access to quality education adapted to the identity of each territory are rights to be protected and ensured, but that instead are limited or violated by the dominant production model.

We would like to thank the people who participated in the thematic tables and who shared experiences:

National Colonization Institute Director and members Jaqueline Gomez, Martin Toledo, Franca Bacigalupe

MPs Leonardo de Leon, Nelson Larzabal

Rural Education Department (CEIP) Director, Liber Santos

Agustin Ferreiro Center Director, Alejandra Dego

Members of the Extension Service of UdelaR, Carlos Santos and Gabriel Picos

Rural Montevideo Unit Director, Isabel Andreoli

Rural Development Agency Canelones Director, Matias Carambula

Members of the Rural Development General Directorate (Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries)

Heinrich Boell Foundation – Southern Cone

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