Quezon City – A National Consultation on ODA, Agrarian Reform and Food Sovereignty held at St. Theresa’s College on March 25, 2011 was participated by over 60 representatives hailing from diverse sectors including peasant leaders from nearly every region of the country. The consultation revealed that at present, aid in agriculture reinforces corruption in bureaucracy and has been used to facilitate land-grabbing, intensified corporate agriculture and as a consequence contributed to the militarization of the countryside. Based on the experiences of peasants and other marginalized sectors in the Philippines, the consultation concluded that to this date, ODA supported programs in agriculture have failed and only contributed to the intensification of poverty, hunger and landlessness.
The consultation was characterized by diverse views from different actors. The contribution of Danilo Ramos, Secretary General of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Movement of Farmers in the Philippines) (KMP) and the Asian Peasant Coalition, discussed the imperatives of Agrarian Reform and Food Sovereignty as a platform for advocacy and campaign against poverty, hunger and landlessness. Highlighting the struggle of KMP for a genuine land reform in the Philippines, he called for the strengthening of a multi sectoral support for the peasants on a national and international level. Overall, participants agreed to engage on the issues of aid and development and heighten the campaigns against land-grabbing and corporate farming schemes that impact negatively on the poor. The event was a collaborative effort of the Peoples’ Coalition for Food Sovereignty PCFS), the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC), the Reality of Aid (RoA) and the KMP with the support of BetterAid.