Advancing Equitable Livelihoods for Food Systems Workers

CFS side event on Advancing Equitable Livelihoods for Food Systems Workers: Bah Phrang Roy speaks on behalf of Indigenous Communities.

The Committee for Food Security (CFS) of the FAO yesterday convened a virtual side event on ‘Advancing Equitable Livelihoods for All Food Systems Workers’. The event was aimed at discussing mechanisms to build agency for the approximately 4.5 billion people that depend on food systems for their livelihoods and for ensuring 100% living incomes and wages and adequate and nutritious food for all food systems workers. Bah Phrang Roy, Coordinator TIP and founding Chairperson NESFAS, represented on behalf of the Indigenous Peoples, was one of the 8 panellists from around the world discussing and looking for egalitarian solutions to secure livelihoods for all food system workers.

Indigenous food systems workers have borne the brunt of the pandemic. Tom Mwangi Anyonge, International Fund for Agricultural Development shared how the COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed the food systems that serve as means of livelihoods for many indigenous communities. Rural communities have been impacted in food supplies as many of these communities suffer from hunger and malnutrition while marginalized people (women, youths, etc) faced exclusion in the society. He called the global community to intervene and scale up activities at the “national and international level to make sustainable food systems work for the people (who have been custodians of the same.)”

Bah Phrang Roy on the other hand, opened his speech with a very strong statement that if, taken out of context, would raise eyebrows among the global Indigenous communities, “The world will not fall apart if Indigenous Peoples Food Systems disappear” he said, before adding “but thestrategic thrust towards equitable livelihoods for all food workers will lose a unique and proven example.” While many of the other panelists focused on novel and scientific narratives driven by data, Bah Phrang Roy, having worked with indigenous communities all his life, focus