orsening harvests, infertile soil and increasing food poverty are affecting the majority of small farmers across the globe, especially in the Global South. But the climate and food crises are not isolated phenomena. They are the result of a global capitalist system that has prioritised big corporate agricultural profits over people and the planet.
a Zambian coordinator for FIAN International, an organisation that campaigns for the democratisation of food and nutrition.“Profit-making entities control our food systems… including the production and distribution of seed.” He explained, “Under recent policy changes, priority is given to maize production. This is one of the key drivers for monocropping, which is responsible for the reduction in varieties of available foods in Zambia.”
FIAN is documenting how the corporate control of agriculture is weakening food security. Seed systems have gone from being cooperative-led (which gives farmers more agency and fair prices) to being corporate-led (which prioritises profits).
In May, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the number of people living in famine conditions has increased by more than 500 percent since 2016, and more than 270 million people are now living in extreme food insecurity.
While Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russia has exacerbated this crisis climate change and capitalism are the primary engines behind this global food emergency.
By 2030, global warming will have diminished the world’s average agricultural production by more than a fifth.
In Zambia, the maize harvest for 2021/22 is expected to be down by a quarter, thanks to droughts and flash floods between 2019 and 2021,