“Securing sustainable livelihoods for small scale producers should be the major focus in ensuring the food security of Sri Lanka”; Oxfam, with its launch of the “Food Justice Campaign – GROW”, asks for a new food system which prioritizes small-scale food producers and ecologically friendly food production systems in Sri Lanka.
This week, we celebrate World Food Day (16th October) at a time when world is facing one of its biggest food crises in history. One in seven people on our planet go to bed hungry each night. Rising food prices and climate change is putting the global food production system in danger.
In Sri Lanka as well, we continue to see signs of negative food security trends. For example, around four million Sri Lankans are undernourished. This is a great challenge in Sri Lanka where expectant mothers and children the most affected by malnutrition. Almost one in five children has a low birth weight and around 500,000 children under the age of five years are reported to be underweight. Global food prices increases and extreme weather events are already having an impact on vulnerable communities in the country.
In a country like Sri Lanka, this is an unacceptable situation. Being a country blessed with all the natural resources necessary for food production, Sri Lanka has the potential to build a sustainable food system that can be a model for the rest of the world.
Oxfam in Sri Lanka is working with a large number of organizations, from grassroots level to national level, to support small scale food production. Oxfam works with communities, government and the private sector to increase the country’s food security by promoting sustainable food production methods and promoting and supporting the rights and access of small scale food producers to resources and services.
GROW will support the efforts of women, men, community groups and the Government of Sri Lanka to build a future which protects life for a fairer food system and a country without hunger.
The GROW campaign asks:
- Small-scale food producers to be the focus of food security, agricultural and fisheries investment in Sri Lanka.
- The rights of small-scale food producers to land, water, seeds and other resources, which are essential for their livelihoods, are protected through policies and practices.
- Small-scale food producers have access to entitlements and receive support from Government authorities.
- The private sector and broader civil society actors in Sri Lanka actively support ecologically friendly sustainable food production processes.
- The Sri Lankan government will formulate, change and improve the policy frameworks to support and protect ecologically friendly, sustainable food production systems.
- The contribution of women to food production is recognized and respected by all. Their ownership and access to land and other resources to be a priority of the development plans of the Government of Sri Lanka.
GROW will be a collaborative effort of the civil society, government and private sectors to increase the country’s food security by promoting sustainable food production methods and promoting the rights and access of small scale food producers to resources and services.
GROW was officially launched in Sri Lanka at the forum on “Global Food Crisis opportunities and challenges in Sri Lanka: Opportunities and Challenges” held on 18th October 2011 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo.
For more information, Contact:
Campaign Coordinators – Sandun Thudugala (email@example.com / +94 773 727271) and Thusitha Siriwardena (TSiriwardana@oxfam.lk/ + 94 773 184817)
Oxfam Australia, 15, Rohini Road, Colombo 6, Sri Lanka : Tel: +94 112585855-6 |Fax +94 112 556175
Oxfam Great Britain, 08, Kinross Avenue, Colombo 04, Sri Lanka: Tel: + 94 11 259 75 22 / 11 250 69 44 |Fax +94 11 258 5270