To feed the world, start with family farms: Pope

A farmer feeds cattle in the US state of Iowa (CNS/Bob Roller)

Restarting local economies with a focus on providing adequate food for all the world’s people means governments must involve and listen to small farmers and farming families, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNS.

“Closed and conflicting – but powerful – economic interests have prevented us from designing a food system that responds to the values of the common good, solidarity and the ‘culture of encounter’,” the Pope said in a message read yesterday at a preparatory meeting in Rome for the United Nations Food Systems Summit in September.

“Our poorest brothers and sisters, and the earth, our common home that ‘cries out for the damage we inflict on it through irresponsible use and abuse of the goods God has placed in it’ demand radical change,” the Pope said. Family farms and other small farming operations are a place to start.

The rural sector of the local and global economy provides so much of the food people consume, but people living in rural areas and working the land are rarely a priority in political and economic decision making, he said in the message read by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican foreign minister.

In “the post-pandemic ‘restart’ process that is being built,” the Pope said, “small farmers and farming families must be considered privileged actors. Their traditional knowledge should not be overlooked or ignored, while their direct participation allows for a better understanding of their priorities and real needs.”

Pope Francis also asked governments to promote “policies and initiatives that fully meet the needs of rural women, promote youth employment and improve the work of farmers in the poorest and most remote areas.”


To feed the world, start with family farms, Pope says (By Cindy Wooden, CNS

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