Press Release | October 16, 2022

The Food and Agriculture Organization, along with the elite of the world are celebrating World Food Day but for peasants, workers, the masses its World Hunger Day. The scrouge of hunger, looming famine is now a very grotesque face of globalization!

Global hunger figures are again at an all-time high. In 2021, around 2.3 billion worldwide suffered from food insecurity, and 828 million were affected by hunger; as of July 2022, acute food insecurity was present in 82 countries, affecting 345 million people.

This hunger is being further exacerbated by Climate Imperialism. In Pakistan alone, in the wake of monstrous monsoons, more than 8 million acres of standing crops have been destroyed, with millions of livestock, wheat stocks, and stored fodder lost to the incessant rains over 8 weeks. Please note, Pakistan is among the top ten most vulnerable countries to climate change. The United Nations humanitarian agency has just given the warning that about 5.7 million Pakistani flood survivors will face a serious food crisis in the next three months. According to the World Health Organization, even before the floods, 16% of the population was living in moderate or severe food insecurity.

What is fueling such hunger and malfunctioning of our food systems? There are many causes but all of them stem from Imperialism. In their desire for super profits, agrochemical corporations have driven the destruction and degradation of our lands through use of highly hazardous agro-chemical based fertilizers and pesticides, genetic engineering among others; today our land are enslaved, addicted to toxic chemicals. Institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO) have dictated neoliberal policies that have led to the pauperization of small and landless farmers.

Further, imperialist wars of aggression are impacting food production, severely. There is an escalating tug of war between hegemonic powers namely, the US, Russia and China. NATO-backed by the USA has intensified the Ukraine war with the aim of weakening Europe and tying it to the US, while at the same time trying to isolate Russia. Similar tactics are being used between China and Taiwan to fan conflict among them. US-led wars seen with the new century have already left millions in poverty, hunger and deprivation in Libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

Finally, Climate Imperialism that has led to one extreme climate event to destroying millions of acres of cultivable land. Climate imperialism is monopoly capital’s addiction to fossil fuel based hyper industrial production; it is disastrous toxic agro-industrial production based false solutions in the name of climate smart technologies; it ensures that nations facing hunger become dependent on international food aid along with technologies amassing further profits to mega-corporations. Only in these couple of months, there have been horrendous extreme climate events in India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Japan, Sudan, Italy along with in Europe and the US.

It is imperative that the most affected by this crisis will be the peasants and the workers. It is of utmost urgency to unite the people, the women to fight against hegemonic forces of imperialism, to fight for food sovereignty.

Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek reiterates its demand for just and equitable land distribution. There is an urgent need for the government to develop and implement policies that will ensure adoption of agroecology-based production systems, based on self-reliance, freed from the shackles of agrochemical corporations. Given the grave looming food insecurity situation, farmers much be provided free access to local indigenous seeds and organic inputs that would allow the country to ensure food security of its people. Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek remains committed in its struggle to attain Food Sovereignty!

Release by: Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT)

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