Food Sovereignty and the Environment: Crossed views from North Africa | MED-Amin network | Scoop.it

Habib Ayeb is a founder member of the NGO  Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Environment (OSAE)  and  Max Ajl is a sociologist, activist and an editor at Jadaliyya and Viewpoint.

 

In recent years, the issue of food sovereignty has begun to appear in academic and non-academic debates, and in research as well – although more tentatively – in all the countries of the region. That said, the issue of food and thus agriculture has always been important, both in academic research and public debate, as well as the academy, political institutions, and elsewhere. During the 1970s and 1980s, in Tunisia and throughout what was called the Third World, we spoke mainly of food self-sufficiency. This was, in a way, and at that time, a watchword of the left – a left that was modernist, developmentalist and statist. Following Green Revolution policies in the context of a Cold War, experiences of agrarian reforms and agricultural co-operatives in Tunisia (from 1962), in Egypt (from 1953) and in many other countries had proliferated.  From 2011 on, spaces and opportunities for debate would greatly expand, touching upon a multitude of topics and diverse themes – even if the rural world, and more specifically, agricultural and food topics, remain relatively marginalized, or often forgotten. Nevertheless, the issue of food sovereignty has seen some fairly significant actions and initiatives. In Egypt...