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Food advocates call for food system change in ‘Salu-salo’ festival

To express their desire for a food systems change amid the rise of food hunger in the country, food advocates from Agroecology Exchange (AEX) and participants clink-clanked utensils in the day-long “Salu-salo” agroecology festival last November 7.

The noise-making segment dubbed “Kalansingan sa Tanghalian” was done in Sagul Food Park, Diliman, Quezon City during the “salu-salo,” which is the Filipino practice of getting together to eat while sharing and discussing stories with each other.

Participants of the salu-salo agroecology festival made sharp, metallic noises by clinking of utensils in their Kalansingan sa Tanghalian segment. Photo by Sonya Mariella Castillo

According to the press release of AEX, the present conditions and the future of the country’s food systems should be discussed, especially since that food hunger is rising due to the pandemic. 

“The poor majority of our citizens are going hungry, even our farmers, and our institutions and the government have to act fast. Through ‘kalansingan,’ we hope we would be able to make them hear our call,” AE said.

Aside from the ‘Kalansingan’, AEX also invited spokespersons to talk about different topics regarding the current Philippine food system.

The spokespersons are peasant leader, Amihan Peasant Women Federation secretary-general, and Bantay Bigas spokesperson Cathy Estavillo, sustainable agriculture advocate and Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) National Coordinator Cris Panerio, and Executive Director of Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) Rochelle Poras.

An open forum was then facilitated “with stress at envisioning what and how to realize necessary changes in the prevailing food systems in the country.”

A booth selling products from local farmers. Photo by Sonya Mariella Castillo

The “Salu-salo” agroecology festival featured around 20 booths showcasing the Bagsakan farmer’s market of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) that sold fresh vegetables and fruits from the local farmers in Bulacan, low-cost agroecological technologies, and for sale products such as food and crafts from small Filipino food entrepreneurs, economical and nutritious recipes, and other food-related educational materials.

AEX added that the event is among the first events of a year-long campaign towards a National People’s Foods Systems Summit in October 2021. The campaign was also said to be a grounded response to the United Nations Food Systems Summit that is also set to happen in 2021. [P]

Photo by Sonya Mariella Castillo

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