GROWING A BETTER FUTURE: THE NEXT GENERATION OF AGROECOLOGY ACTIVISTS
‘I want to be someone who lives my dreams, whose family has land to grow food and generate a living in a way that is diversified, that protects people and the environment.’
These are the words of 22-year old Migdalia Cruz, farmer and graduate of the Latin America Agroecology Institute (IALA) in Nicaragua.
Since returning home, Migdalia and other IALA graduates have been working with their communities and organisations to apply a holistic, integrated way of producing food based on agroecology and food sovereignty: the right to healthy, culturally appropriate, locally grown food using ecological, sustainable methods that mitigate climate change.
This is a direct challenge to the agro-industrial food system that dominates the entire global food chain from seeds to supermarkets. For every pound consumers pay to these chains, society pays two pounds more for the health and environmental damage they cause. It is a driving force behind climate breakdown, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction and denial of land rights.
IALA is one of the key programmes of NSC’s partner organisation the Nicaraguan Rural Workers Association (ATC), a member organisation of La Via Campesina, the global movement of small-scale farmers and indigenous peoples.
In 2022 NSC will continue an information campaign in solidarity with the ATC and La Via Campesina, culminating in a UK-wide speaker tour in the autumn by an IALA graduate. The purpose of the speaker tour will be to exchange ideas and experiences with young farmers and like-minded organisations, to contribute to building internationalism and solidarity so vital in our polarised world.
At the same time as raising money for the speaker tour and our other solidarity work, we will contribute to raising funds for a scholarship programme to enable more young farmers to undertake two-year agroecology courses, consisting not only of theoretical and practical training in ecological, sustainable farming methods but also in political organising.
The involvement of young people such as IALA graduates in helping to achieve food sovereignty will become even more critical in the face of the accelerating climate crisis and instability caused by wars and the COVID pandemic.
Please help us bring an IALA student to the UK and enable more Central American students to gain the benefits of studying at IALA.
Agroecology & food sovereignty – the ‘real solution’ to the climate crisis
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