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VOICE initiated their Food Sovereignty Campaign in 2002 with an aim to build critical awareness and strengthen social movements on the people’s sovereign right to seed and food. Due to the neo-liberal economic framework imposed by the World Bank, IMF, the WTO and other IFIs, the agriculture system in Bangladesh has been decimated by structural adjustment policies and a seed market diluted with outside exports. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides have caused environmental damage to local ecosystems and soil. There is a need to establish and uphold the people’s right to preserve their own seeds, and support the development and dissemination of ecologically-friendly agricultural production at the grassroots level.
VOICE is also supporting a broad-based solidarity campaign calling for an end to patents on organic life forms by multinational corporations, as well as a general ban on further development of ‘terminator’ seed technologies and the use of genetically-modified food in food aid.
VOICE conducted a study in 2002 on how IFIs are threatening the people’s rights to food and seed. The report, entitled was published in 2003 and was brought to the general public through several interactive workshops designed to raise awareness about the issue. VOICE also regularly publishes a Bengali-language journal, Golaghor (Seed House), with articles meant to both document the struggle for food security in Bangladesh and inform those involved. To read more about Golaghor, click here.