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Food and Land at the Service of People: An Interview with Peter Rosset

Part 3 of the Harvesting Justice Series
By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

A Via Campesina march in Hong Kong, 2005, demanding an end to WTO trade negotiations over agriculture. Photo courtesy of Via Campesina.

Agricultural economist Peter Rosset is with the Center for the Study of Rural Change in Mexico
and the Land Research Action Network. He is also a member of the technical support team of
Via Campesina. Beverly Bell talked with Peter Rosset in Havana in 2009; they updated the
interview in 2012.

There are several fundamental pillars that are necessary to take control over food and agricultural
systems. One is to force even reluctant or reactionary governments to regain control over their
national borders from the flow of imported food. That means canceling free trade agreements
and not signing WTO agreements. It means stopping the import either of incredibly cheap,
subsidized food from agro-export countries which drives local producers out of business, or of
food made ridiculously expensive by food speculation.

Governments also need to support peasant and small-farmer agriculture as the fundamental
source of food for national economies. Why not big farms or agribusiness? It