Food Sovereignty: The Case and the Space for Community Led Agricultural Autonomy within the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition

Robert Burdock, Peter Ampt


Much has been written about food security, nutrition security and the ability of people to access their food needs. Food sovereignty and the associated ability of people to participate in the production, distribution and consumption decisions of their food have been at the fringe of this discussion. Linked with this is the debate on the question of pursuing policies of food self-sufficiency or policies of self-reliance where food imports are considered a natural extension of food security. Examining the elements of food security through the food system participation framework of food sovereignty is an opportunity worthy of further exploration.

This paper seeks to add a dimension to the understanding of food security by considering the value that a food sovereignty perspective has on the right to access food that is nutritious and safe for consumption. Current themes are cited and reviewed, and the implications of both food security and food sovereignty perspectives for the food system are argued. Agricultural trade liberalisation has benefited some societies and harmed others. To this end, the Global Strategic Framework (the Framework) on Food Security and Nutrition has recently incorporated the philosophy of the food sovereignty movement into its guidelines. The Framework provides an opportunity to view food security through a lens of food sovereignty providing guidance for all societies on how to safeguard their food security.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Robert Burdock, Peter Ampt

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Journal of Agricultural Science   ISSN 1916-9752 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9760 (Online)  E-mail:

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