"To change our mindset that it is possible to do it"
What is the key message that you are bringing to Rio from farmers in your area?
My key message concerns the need to include women and youth when we talk about food security. About 30% of our population are youth, and about 50% of women are into farming. So my key message is that we need to implement policies for women and youth. They should be included in the Rio draft outcome document. We need policies to encourage women and youth to go into farming and produce more food. Also, I think we should support the household farming system. If each person is able to produce something small, to produce healthy food, I think the world will be a better place for all of us.
Have you already heard things here in Rio that will help people back home?
"I think my key message is: include women and youth when you talk about food security."
Yes, I think the presentations so far are very interesting. It is interesting to see the position that we have as farmers in the developing countries. I think we have a good position to help the world because most of us are doing ecological farming already; we are doing it by default. We don’t have money to buy chemicals.
Also, I have seen experiences here in Brazil which are inspiring, for example the Participatory Guarantee System. It is nice to observe, and then see what we can adapt and apply back home. Back home, I will share all the information I gathered here, also leaflets, books, and teach others about what I have learned.
Do you believe that anything will come out of the official conference?
I hope so, because that is why we are here. I hope it will not just be one of the conferences where they come and talk and make pledges and don’t fulfill them. I hope the discussions will be reflected in the policy that they are going to implement.
Is there anything that farmers or farmers’ organisations themselves can do to push for change?
Rio de Janeiro, 16 June 2012
Interview: Laura Eggens