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U.S. Should Defend Rights Of Small-Scale, Female Farmers In Efforts To Attain Global Food Security

The Guardian: Obama’s development legacy rings hollow on farmers’ rights
Claire Provost, fellow at the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London

“While U.S. NGOs erupted in near-giddy applause last week, celebrating the passage through Congress of the Global Food Security Act of 2016, peasant communities in Honduras and land rights activists around the world mourned the death of environmentalist Lesbia Yaneth Urquía, whose body was found in a rubbish dump 160km west of the capital, Tegucigalpa. … [President] Obama is clearly hoping to make food and agriculture a legacy issue for his administration. But without a clear and central vision committed to supporting human rights, U.S. aid-funded initiatives risk repeating the same mistakes well-intentioned elites have made for decades. … The U.S. act, once passed into law, will require the president to coordinate and articulate a cross-government strategy by 1 October. This strategy must put clear commitments to support poor and marginalized communities fighting for their rights at its very core. The act does nod in this direction … but this must be strengthened and followed through. … [E]levating food and agriculture to priority issues is not, on its own, enough. Similarly, raising the profile of female farmers by explicitly referencing them in policy documents is far from a sufficient response to the ongoing and violent persecution of activists…” (7/11).