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New In te rn a t io nalist 353 | January/February 2003

THIS MONTH’S THEME

REUTERS

Foodand farming 9 The new peasants’ revolt

FROMTHIS MONTH'S EDITOR

Katharine Ainger takes issue with a model of agriculture that’s turning small farmers from stewards ofthe land into servants.

13 Food sovereignty

The outlines of a new agricultural paradigm.

14 How(not) to feed Africa

As famine stalks Africa Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher demands a rethink about food aid, small farms, genetic modification and debt.

18

16 Tricks of the trade

The rules of the global trading system - who makes them and why,

as they apply to rice, meat, dairy products, sugar, wheat, coffee and genetically modified soya and maize. Robin Hood in reverse The 2002 Farm Bill pumps a $250-billion subsidy into big farming business in the US. The losers, says Anuradha Mittal, are almost everyone else. Tainted tortillas Maize in Mexico has been contaminated by genetically modified organisms. Tania Molina Ramirez reports on a scandal - and what the ‘people of maize’ are doing about it.

20 FOODAND FARMING - THE FACTS

The market and the monsoon l<

In a special report from the state of Andhra Pradesh 5 in India, Katharine Ainger looks through the dust “ and the desperation at Vision 2020 - a plan to * remove 20 million people from their land. '

Cutting the wire o

5

The Landless Movement (MST) in Brazil came to prominence by occupying land.

Charles DE G aulle once said o f France: ‘How can you govern a country th a t has 246 varieties o f cheese?’ Diversity in food and farm ing systems has never been so popular with th e public, and yet so far o ff th e policy agenda. Too often those who question industrial agriculture a re b lackm a iled in to silence by accusations th a t they are denying p rogress to th e m a ln ourished poor.

Fam ine is caused by m any factors war, debt, poverty, soil degradation, unequal term s o f trade... never by asking questions. As fam ine th reatens m illions in S outhern Africa, and even g reater num bers suffer daily m a ln ourishm en t in South Asia, asking d ifficult political questions is m ore, not less o f a duty.

Why did^the In te rn a t io n a l M onetary Fund tell Malawi to slash its g rain reserves? Should corporations p a te n t staple food crops? Is a f ree-trade econom y th a t takes control away from th e m a jo rity o f ru ra l p eople really th e best m odel we've got?

Voices - m any belonging to activist farm ers from th e South - speaking o f d iverse agricultural a lternatives have b een left out o f these discussions for far too long.

Pass th e cheese.

Now, reports Sue Branford, the movement’s getting serious about sustainable farming, too. 30 Farming solutions

Tracing the practical steps already being taken in Japan, the Philippines, Laos, China, Kenya, Madagascar, Tunisia, Brazil, Argentina and Germany. 32 The magic bean

The way forward, says Jules Pretty, involves learning from the 350,000 generations of farmers, not just the last two generations of industry. 35 The delicious revolution (or what you can do)

Katharine Ainger for the New Internationalist Co-operative kat@newint.org

REGULAR FEATURES Leiiers Relief of Americans in exile;

indigenous peoples and ‘swamping’ by immigrants; Israel: end the occupation and forget the past. PLUS: Letter from Lebanon by Reem Haddad. Southern Exposure The dancer’s silhouette: a picture from Indonesia by the Filipino photographer Rolex de la Pena. View from the South Nobel Peace Prizewinner Archbishop Desmond Tutu argues that it is time for us to treat Israel as we once treated apartheid South Africa.

6 Currents

The ‘collateral’ damage: meet some of the ordinary Iraqis that your government is planning to bomb. PLUS: El Salvador’s healthcare workers battle privatization. PLUS: Word Corner - Caravan. PLUS: Big Bad World cartoonist Polyp on the power ofthe media. 36 Jumbo Nl Prize Crossword -

with a special food-and-farming theme and a bumper prize on offer. 37 Mixed Media

The best films, books and music of 2002 along with the new reviews. FILM: Divine Intervention directed by Elia Suleiman; The Summit by Nick Francis and Max Pugh; n ’9”oi September 11by Alain Brigand. MUSIC: The Fire This Time by various artists; Jerusalem by Steve Earle. BOOKS: A Guide to the Perplexed by Gilad Atzmon; The Screaming of the Innocent by Unity Dow; A Map of the Gardens by Gillian Mears. 40 Country

Profile China

FRONT COVER PHOTO: SUKREE SUKPLANG/REUTERS. MAGAZINE DESIGNED BY ALAN HUGHES.

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