What is ‘climate smart agriculture’? It begins with deception

For us, it is clear that underneath its pretense of addressing the persistent poverty in the countryside and climate change, there is nothing new. Rather, this is a continuation of a project first begun with the Green Revolution in the early 1940’s and continued through the 70’s and 80’s by the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction projects and the corporate interests involved. These projects decimated numerous peasant economies, particularly in the South, to the extent that many countries, like México for example, that were self-sufficient in food production, became dependent on the North to feed their population within a short couple of decades.

The result of these projects… a regime that is based on increased use of toxic chemicals, dependent on fossil fuel inputs and technology, a food system that is now under the control of corporations and large industrial farmers, the main beneficiaries of these projects. The result has been the loss of food security and sovereignty, transforming entire countries that were once net food exporters into net food importers. This is not so much that they cannot produce food, but because now, instead, they produce commodity crops used to produce industrialized foods, fuels, manufactured products for sale, and for speculation in the world financial markets.

Climate smart agriculture begins with deception by not making a differentiation between the negative effects of industrialized agriculture and the real solutions offered by traditional sustainable peasant agriculture which has contributed to alleviating poverty, hunger and remediation of climate change. To the contrary, climate smart agriculture equates and equally blames all forms of agricultural production for the negative effects that in fact only industrialized agricultural and food production has caused. The agricultural activity that has most contributed to greenhouse gas emissions has been industrial agriculture, not smallholder sustainable agriculture.

Today, just as in the past, we continue to propose and put into practice wherever we can agroecological production and the construction of people’s food sovereignty. We call on all social movements gathered in New York to denounce climate smart agriculture as a false solution, and oppose the launching of the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Climate Summit in New York City.

– Exerpted from UN-masking Climate Smart Agriculture, published by Via Campesina

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