Anglican Alliance seeks G20 action on food crisis

Anglicans are pressing G20 and African governments to agree decisive measures to address the global food crisis when they meet this month.

A new campaign launched by the Anglican Alliance is asking for greater support for women farmers, measures to control speculation, improved market access for farmers in developing countries, and more investment in agriculture.

Support for women farmers is a focal point of the campaign. According to the Alliance, women produce between 60 and 80 per cent of the food in most developing countries.

It claims that equalising their access to agricultural inputs would increase the output of women farmers by more than 10 per cent.

The Alliance wants to see more secure land tenure for women, greater participation in decision-making on agricultural matters, and equal access to financial support such as credit and loan subsidies.

It said controls were needed on speculation in food commodities in order to tackle the growing problem of food insecurity, which is creating food shortages for some 900 million people worldwide.

As part of the campaign, the Alliance will be targetting agriculture ministers in some of the 160 countries with an Anglican presence.

Churches in Africa are being asked to write to the heads of their governments, urging them to keep the food crisis at the top of the agenda at this month's meeting.

Anglican Alliance director, Sally Keeble said: “Anglicans in African identified food as their top concern in the run-up to the G20 meetings this November.

"There’s a growing consensus over the need for action from G20 governments - the agriculture ministers have a chance this month to put forward some radical proposals to tackle the crisis.”