Organización Boricuá awarded Food Sovereignty Prize
SAN JUAN – The U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), a network of food justice groups, recognized Black Mesa Water Coalition (BMWC) and Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico at its 10th annual Food Sovereignty Prize ceremony in Washington.
Black Mesa Water Coalition, the domestic honoree, was awarded the prize for restoring indigenous food sovereignty and uplifting youth leaders among Navajo and Hopi communities. Organización Boricuá, the international honoree, was recognized for mobilizing Food Sovereignty Brigades to assist farmers recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
The USFSA awarded this year’s Food Sovereignty Prize “in honor of how BMWC and Organización Boricuá defend and scale-up people’s agroecology,” a release reads, addin that, “utilizing a Just Transition framework, the domestic and international honorees offer viable pathways for ending poverty, hunger, and malnutrition….”
Organización Boricuá has promoted food sovereignty and climate justice for nearly three decades to support family farmers and expand the agroecology movement on the island and abroad. In addition to resisting Monsanto’s presence on the island, Organización Boricuá has mobilized campaigns against the spraying of the Naled insecticide in response to the Zika virus, and through networking with farmers and other advocates of agroecology, it organizes monthly work parties.
“Agroecology as Puerto Ricans, coming from a colonial context, has given us a space to organize and deepen our struggles. This work is a vehicle of transformation for a sovereign, free, and just Puerto Rico,” Organización Boricuá’s Jesús Vázquez was quoted as saying.
Organización Boricuá is a member of Climate Justice Alliance, MAELA (Movimiento Agroecológico de América Latina y El Caribe), and La Via Campesina.
The Food Sovereignty Prize is part of a movement “toward achieving truly sustainable agricultural and energy systems based on principles of ecological harmony, political-economic autonomy, and social justice,” according to the USFSA.
“These grassroots organizations demonstrate how frontline communities most affected by social and ecological crises are the ones with solutions to society’s most pressing problems,” said Doria Robinson, coordinator of the Western Region of the Food Sovereignty Alliance.