Herding and feeding cattle are some of my earliest memories. Indeed, I live from an agricultural heritage passed on to me by family and by the various people and farms I have worked with across Canada. This is one part of me. Another is a curiosity toward the discourses and critiques about transitioning to more sustainable inclusive food provisioning – and all that’s associated with that: from geopolitics to production ecology to rural sociology. This curiosity has brought me to Wageningen UR and to farmers’ fields in Ethiopia and Malawi, CFS43 seems like a good next stop.
As a student cultural anthropology I discovered I had a special interest in the relation between human behaviour and food. From an anthropological angle I conducted several researches with a particular focus on the rituals around, and the meaning of food in different cultures. Slowly I entered the world of food production and food provisioning. A particular interesting example is a project I participated in, called ‘Food and Nutrition Security in Developing Countries: Monitoring and Evaluation’. Together with a group of experts working in African civil society we developed a theory of change and a monitoring and evaluation system for a particular food security project.
This project highlights my two core passions on professional level. Combining projects about food security with civil society participation is something that motivates me. One of the most recent projects I am involved in, is being part of the board of a small organization called ‘SuhuYini’. This organization focuses on developing the agricultural activities of women in an area in Northern Ghana. Thanks to this motivation to combine both concepts I have become involved in the CFS. Currently I am working on a research that evaluates the effectiveness of the Civil Society Mechanism in having an influence within the CFS. CFS 43 offers me the opportunity to finally see the organization I researched over the past few months with my own eyes.
Growing up on organic farms in the Netherlands made me start to discover the potential of the earth beneath our feet. We humans depend on soils in many ways, but above all for growing food. My love for good food and cooking made me realize how fortunate people with access to sufficient food are. I have been engaged with global food security ever since, both knowingly and unknowingly. After finishing Earth Sciences & Economics in Amsterdam, I started the master International Land & Water Management in Wageningen, thereby hoping to contribute to the search and development of sustainable ways of food production. By attending CFS43 I hope to get even more inspired to continue with this quest.
Miguel Ruiz Marchini
I´m an urban agriculture enthusiast native to San José, Costa Rica. I completed the BSc. sustainable agriculture and natural resources management in the tropics in the unique and ‘hands-on’ school EARTH University. I have worked side by side with farmers in diverse stages of my formation, gathering experience in the practical challenges and social aspects of food security. Having the perspective of an urban dweller raised an early interest in the role of food in our cities and the detachment between this two scenarios. Currently, I’m following a MSc in Organic Agriculture in Wageningen University in the Netherlands and I’m focused to continue my path in urban agriculture.
I’m from the mountains of western North Carolina in the United States where I grew up camping and working on friend’s farms, which led me to develop a passion for working on social and environmental justice issues in agriculture. After working with family farmers on land rights issues in the NGO sector for two years, I moved to Rome, Italy in 2012 to explore the international policy arena working as a consultant with FAO. I’ve now recently finished my Masters in International Rural Development and am looking forward to returning to Rome to attend CFS 43.
Raised on a dairy farm in Belgium, Myriam Welvaert was already early connected with agriculture and food. Myriam holds a Master degree in History with a Minor Economics and Business Administration from University of Ghent . She wrote her thesis about the global food system and food regime analysis applied to the Chinese pig industry from 1980-2013. During her master she took extra courses as development economics and agriculture and food economics. She followed a session of debates about food security at the University of Antwerp and went to the Symposium of Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur of the Right to Food, in Brussels. While doing her thesis her interest in food grew: from governance, policy to production and consumption . That’s why she choose to study further at the university related to food and agriculture: Wageningen University in the Netherlands. There she’s currently studying a Master in Management, Economics and Consumer Studies with a specialisation in Consumer Studies. She would like to do her master thesis about the inequality of food security in developing countries.