October 12-13, 2010 – Des Moines, Iowa USA

 

Moderator:

  • Dr. Robert Thompson, Sr. Fellow, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Illinois

Participants:

  • Argentina – Roberto Peiretti
  • Brazil – Camila Illich Rodrigues
  • Canada – Grant Dyck
  • France – Evelyne Desrentes
  • Honduras – Isidro Matamoros
  • India – Rajesh Kumar
  • India – V. Ravichandran
  • Italy – Giorgio Fidenato
  • Kenya – Alice Kalya
  • Mexico – Olga Alcaraz
  • Pakistan – Tariq Zaman Khan
  • Portugal – Gabriela Cruz (2010 Kleckner Trade & Technology Advancement Award)
  • Spain – Jose Luis Romeo
  • US, Iowa – Pam Johnson
  • US, Iowa – Dean Kleckner, Chairman TATT
  • US, South Dakota – Mike Jandreau, Chairman Lower Brule Sioux Tribe
  • Zambia – Sarah Munalula

Despite their differences in culture, crops raised and language, 16 farmers representing five continents agreed they must work together to break the barriers that stop their access to technology.  The farmers discussed their ideas during a two-day Global Farmer Roundtable held in Des Moines, Iowa, USA.

“Each of the farmers at the Roundtable was invited here because they were nominated by someone who said ‘this is an important person in our village, community, organization or country,” said Mary Boote, executive director of Truth about Trade and Technology (TATT).  TATT, an NGO that promotes free trade and agricultural biotechnology through farmer-led educational initiatives, organized the Roundtable held Oct. 12-13.

The participating farmers at the roundtable agreed to work together in regional alliances of support, and to share their experiences globally as a way to inspire farmers and educate politicians.  “Through our commonalities of challenges, we will find commonalities of success,” was something agreed to amongst the participants.

Boote pointed out that the participating farmers are joining a network of 78 farmers from 53 countries who have taken part in a Roundtable discussion during the past five years.

A member of the 2010 Roundtable, Gabriela Cruz of Elvas, Portugal, was the 2010 recipient of the Kleckner Trade and Technology Advancement Award for her efforts to tell others how tools that farmers need are often held back from them by unfair government policies.  “I hope this award motivates other farmers to keep fighting for their ideas and solutions,” Cruz said.  Cruz was presented the award at a luncheon on October 13 with a keynote address given by Robert Paarlberg of Wellesley College, the noted author of Starved for Science and Food Politics.

TATT also partnered in the first stop of the Biodiversity World Tour held October 12 on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.  It included three TATT Global Farmer to Farmer Roundtable participants (Camila Illich, Brazil; Rajesh Kumar, India; Pam Johnson, US) and two experts on biodiversity and agriculture in addition to the facilitator and noted broadcaster, Orion Samuelson.  Special guest US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made opening remarks and joined the panel for the entire event.

Additionally, three farmers were asked to participate on panel discussions for the Borlaug symposium at the World Food Prize:  Rajesh Kumar, India – Oct. 13 -“Promoting smallholders as entrepreneurs and innovators” (transcript); Sarah Munalula, Zambia – Oct. 14 – “Overcoming major constraints facing smallholders”(transcript); Gabriela Cruz, Portugal– Oct. 14 – “Partnering with smallholders on strategies for food security (transcript).

 

Photos from the Global Farmer Roundtable can be found at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zimmcomm/sets/72157625149096758/

http://truthabouttrade.org/media-center/photo-album?view=album&album=5535808287085925969&page=1

 

Read commentaries written by some of the farmers who have participated in the Roundtable:

http://www.truthabouttrade.org/news/editorials/guest-commentary