Right to Food: Series of Lectures & Discussions at European Universities
05/11/2015

Expert lecturers from Tanzania, Netherlands, Germany and South Africa join a series of lectures and discussions with students at partner universities within the scope of EcoFairTrade – an innovative approach to integrate the right to food to university lectures in Europe project during the autumn semester 2015.

Frank Ademba and Salena Tramel visited Mendel University in Brno, Palacky University in Olomouc and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Hague in mid-October to meet with the students and academic staff and to discuss the impacts of large agricultural investments on small-scale farmers in southern Tanzania, where transnational companies use legislative shortcomings and corrupted political elites to buy farmers’ land cheaply. Frank Ademba works in Tanzania with small farms through the platform MVIWATA Kilimanjaro in the long term, and Salena Tramel, Research Associate at ISS, deals with social movements and land grabbing issues in the countries of the Global South.

Early in November, Prof. Martin Franz visited universities in Brno and Olomouc focusing on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the agricultural sector in developing and emerging economies. Prof. Franz presented his study on Foreign Direct Investment in Agri-Food Networks in India and Sub-Saharan Africa. In his lecture he introduced students with the latest developments involving large corporations and food production trough the example of foreign investments in India and the growing volume of FDI in the agricultural sector in developing countries over investments in Europe. Prof. Franz highlighted the fact that non-agricultural companies increasingly enter into the food production sector in developing countries, and thus compete and batter traditional trade structures there.

The lecture series so far has been joined by 150 students and academics from partner universities and will be carried on with Prof. Francois Lategans visit from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa in late November. Prof. Lategan acts as a long-term visiting professor at Mendel University in Brno and will combine in his lectures the Right to Food approach with science and innovations.

The project EcoFairTrade – an innovative approach to integrate the right to food to university lectures in Europe is implemented in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation, MISEREOR, Mendel University and other universities in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Croatia. The project is funded by the European Commission and the Czech government.

Ondřej Suchánek

Caritas Czech Republic

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