HAVANA.- Participants in a specialized international conference agreed that agroecology is an essential component for the attainment of food sovereignty and global sustainable development.

Participants in a specialized international conference agreed that agroecology is an essential component for the attainment of food sovereignty and global sustainable development.Some 300 delegates – farmers, representatives and specialists from the international Via Campesino agroecology movement – met over five days in Havana to analyze agroecology’s broad spectrum.

In addition to debates and some 80 conferences and workshops, participants highlighted during their visits to more than 100 farms in 45 Cuban municipalities, the need for countries to implement social policies related to literacy, healthcare and housing.

The Via Campesina meeting, of which the National Association of Small farmers (ANAP in Spanish) in Cuba is a member, stressed the need to respect ancestral cultures and traditional farming methods from around the world.

They also advocated for the implementation of integral agrarian reforms that would, along with the implementation of social programs for farm families, facilitating access to the land and the right to work it.

Participants in a specialized international conference agreed that agroecology is an essential component for the attainment of food sovereignty and global sustainable development.Peter Rosset, from the Via Campesina technical team told The Havana Reporter of a stand-off between two models of agriculture in today’s world: one which preferred to produce healthy foods for a majority, through co-existence with nature and the land, and that of fertilizer and toxic weed killing and other chemical based profit seeking agribusinesses that do not take human health into account.

Having stated that Cuba is a reference point for the rest of the world in agroecology, Rosset assured that this is key to achieving Sustainable Development Objectives, the eradication of hunger, enhanced nutrition and to guarantee food security.

Having lived for many years in Mexico, the U.S. born official explained that Via Campesina is a global alliance of agrarian organizations and that 79 nations are affiliated to the worldwide agroecology movement.

Sixty farming organization leaders from Africa, Asia, America and Europe were in attendance at the V International Sustainable Agriculture and Cooperative Conference, held in Havana.

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