Food security: Global perspectives and climate

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Rice farmers at work - Photograph: salafiyunpad.wordpress.com

BZE chews over food security and climate from a global perspective, as BZE Radio’s Vivien Langford interviews Clare Westwood in Penang and Alan Broughton – vice president Organic Agriculture Association, with special guest Robin Laurie aka Professor Pym.

Listen to the podcast from BZE.

Thank you to our guests:

  • Clare Westwood – Clare is a researcher for the Third World Network and Penang Peace and Justice Commission
  • Alan Broughton – co-author of “Sustainable Agriculture v Corporate Greed”
  • Robin Laurie – Robin, aka Professor Pym, with a lively radio drama about the incongruity of food as fuel for cars

Climate change is making it hard for poor farming communities in Asia. Clare Westwood talks about agro-ecology communities in the Philippines and the women who are building social capital to ride out the storm. Clare motivates resilience and takes heart from Laudato Si’s exhortation to ‘hear the cries of the earth, to hear the cries of the poor’.

She talks about how green revolution farmers are locked into a toxic focus on productivity and how they can go back to low input, low carbon methods which are more sustainable. We hear about NGOs working against the massive clearing of tropical forests and how logging is affecting local flooding and global warming.

Alan Broughton is the Vice President of the Organic Agriculture Association and he explains how he and others think that soil carbon might be enhanced by ‘agroecology’. He tells us how damaging nitrous oxide is both for the climate and for soil carbon. At the global level he says we produce enough food to feed the present population and even the population of 2050, so food insecurity is primarily a distribution problem. We need to be aware that small farmers on 30% of the world’s farm land are providing 70% of the world’s food.

READ MORE:  What does climate action look like?

Farmers organisations like La Via Campesina are showing a different way, skipping the agri-corporations and finding new ways of farming.

Professor Pym is upset that too much good farm land is being planted with cereal crops to feed cars. Hasn’t anyone heard about electric vehicles? She joins us in the 3CR studio to give Vivien a dramatic tutorial based on ‘The End of Plenty‘ by Joel K Bourne Junior.

Brought to you by the BZE Radio Community Show team: Kurt Johnson, Andy Britt, Erin Jones, Vivien Langford and Roger Vize.

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