The neoliberal model, based on profit and intensive, speculative production methods, has caused and continues to cause significant damage to the environment, biodiversity, communities and consumer health. Natural resources are subjected to land and water grabbing, communities are displaced from their land, all in order to impose an intensive model of agriculture based on chemical resources and external input – agriculture that leaves no space for peasants, only agricultural workers, who are often exploited and underpaid.
Another phenomenon that is having devastating effects on the environment and biodiversity is the movement of people as a result of internal conflicts, war and terrorism, which force entire populations to leave their homes in search of security (food or other) and opportunity. This phenomenon is particularly significant (and on the increase) in the Horn of Africa, where Terra Nuova works in Kenya and Somalia.
The result is that sustainable methods of production are wiped out. These methods have often been passed down through generations, they respect the land and its people, are based on small scale systems, are decentralised and adapted to the individual ecosystems in which they exist. They are the result of the accumulation and the transmission of knowledge from farmer's ancestors. Today, these farmers continue to stand firm, in spite of a lack of support from public policies or formal recognition of their farming methods. Despite the challenges it faces, as well as a lack of documentation on the subject, this model still feeds a large section of the world population today.
Terra Nuova is working for the rights of small-scale farmers, most of whom work in countries in the global South, but a minority of whom work in Europe, and for these vital stakeholders to have their voices heard in the international spaces where political decisions are taken. In Peru, Mali, Kenya, Somalia, but also in Europe, we support a model of food production and sales based on the work of families and farmers themselves, applying agro-ecological systems and contributing to food sovereignty.
In Peru, Terra Nuova's work in this field is based on organic farming cooperatives, while in the Horn of Africa we work alongside IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), with particular focus on young people. Our work there is on promoting resilience and offering economic alternatives through training in animal husbandry and agriculture in order to develop arid and semi-arid areas.
In connection with other organisations we advocate for food sovereignty-based policies at national, European and international levels.