News From the Field: 2018 Year in Review
Building Food Sovereignty Across the Philippines
As 2018 comes to a close we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all we have acomplished this year. While the challenges our partner farmers face are ever present. The dramatic impacts of climate change, the increase of corporate control of our food systems, and political instability, to name a few. We continue to be inspired by their endless commitment and resiliency to build food sovereignty with each seed they plant, save, and sow season after season.
Why Food Sovereignty?
Coined by La Via Campesina in 1996, food sovereignty is defined as:
" The right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems."
If food security is about the consumer, food sovereignty puts the focus on the importance of the producers and insists on their democratic rights in decision making. Small-holder farmers produce 70% of the food consumed worldwide on only 25% of the arable land. Food sovereignty also recognizes food as a right and a public good, not as a commodity, and food production is about relationships between community and with nature, not trade and commerce.
As the year draws to a close join us in celebrating and thanking the 100s of dedicated farmers we had the honor to work with, learn from, and support in 2018. They are the true heroes of this world and they are who we will continue to work for in the coming years!
2018 Major Highlights
- Held 4 Seed Schools, training over 300 farmers throughout the Philippines.
- Celebrated one year anniversary of our founding Seed Library in Tublay.
- Assisted in launching our 2nd Seed Library in Cebu City with partners at Cebu Farmers Market.
- Expanded programs to Southern Philippines. Launching programming in Cebu in collaboration with Cebu Farmers Market at CAFE-I.
- Expanded membership of the Benguet Association of Seed Savers (BASS) to 20 active participants.
- BASS Farmers had instant access to quality locally produced seeds in our Seed Library post Typhoon Mangkhut.
- 4 BASS Farmers attended and graduated from the Philippines Permaculture Association Basic and Advanced Design Courses.
- Seed School was included in Philippines Permaculture Association Advanced Design Course Curriculum. Led by two BASS Farmer Technical Trainers.
Thank you for helping make all of this possible and supporting our partner farmers continued food sovereignty. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us at Global Seed Savers!!