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Growing Sustainable Food Systems

June 2019

Grassroots International supports agroecology (farming methods rooted in traditional food growing knowledge) to counter the global dominance and damage of plantation-style agriculture.

Organic Farming Takes Hold in Brazil

Little known a decade ago, agroecological principles are now embraced by small farmer movements around the world. Grassroots International partners have expanded their seed-saving programs, helped to preserve traditional food crops and spread the use of organic and indigenous growing techniques through learning exchanges.

The Landless Workers Movement (MST), a Grassroots partner, has become the largest producer of organic rice in Latin America. The 27,000 tons of rice they grew last year was a milestone for the global agroecology movement. Agroecological farming enables small farmers to stay on their land, resists the expansion of industrial agriculture and helps respond to climate change by sequestering carbon. Despite their success (or because of it), the MST faces severe repression from Brazil’s new right-wing administration.

“The goal of agroecology is to feed all nations with healthy food while caring for Mother Earth and attempting to solve the climate crisis. Agroecology is the only way to solve the problems of hunger and the climate crisis.” — Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, Peasant Movement of Papaye, Haiti

Women Farmers Resist Agribusiness Policies

With support from Grassroots International, We Are the Solution
has built a remarkable multi-national network of women farmers across seven nations in West Africa. They are pushing back against national policies favoring global agrobusiness by demonstrating the power of agroecology at field schools and demonstration gardens. Hundreds of women have learned agroecological methods together with advocacy and campaign skills from We Are the Solution. Now, when West African women speak up for family farms and rural food needs, their governments listen.

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