Food First: Defending Sustainable Agriculture

Through our Make Food Not War program, Cultures of Resistance (CoR) not only supports efforts to provide food aid to communities in need but also seeks out cutting-edge advocates who are defending community-based farming and challenging policies that promote industrial agriculture rather than sustainable community-based farming. For the last three decades, the Oakland-based Food First, also known as the Institute for Food and Development Policy, has been on the forefront of the fight for food justice. Through research, analysis, advocacy, and the production of educational materials, Food First simultaneously shapes agriculture policy debates and assists social movements working for food sovereignty. CoR proudly supports their efforts to help African social movements assert their alternatives to the failed policies of recent decades.

In 2009, Food First published the book Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice, which traces the roots of and solutions to recent global food crises. Now, in the sequel Food Movements Unite!, Food First lays out a road map for bringing the transformative potential of the world’s food movements together into a force capable of ending the injustices that cause hunger and exacerbate poverty. Watch this short video that previews the book's release.

CoR’s support for Food First has been directed to the “We are the Solution” campaign. As part of this campaign, groups from Mali, Senegal, and across West Africa will gather at the World Social Forum in Dakar to develop locally-based solutions to the food crisis. The program launch will offer an opportunity for similarly concerned groups to share experiences from local efforts to promote food sovereignty and build a powerful, unified movement. Another facet of “We are the Solution,” carried out by the Women’s Biodiversity Network, seeks to bring the perspectives of the usually excluded voices of local women farmers into international debate.

For more information, subscribe to Food First's biweekly French- and English-language newsletter about agricultural policy in Africa.

Click here to learn more about Food First's work or take a look at their selection of books.

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