“The plate is a very powerful political object”: explained by an agronomist dealing with food security in Salernes

“NOe There are eight billion on earth and we produce enough food to feed twelve people “, says Mathieu Dalmais, agronomist and member of the Engineers Without Borders Association (ISF-AgriSTA). Paradoxically, according to the new SOFI 2022 report on the state of food security, 10% of the world’s population still suffers from hunger. “ The problem is not a lack of productioninsists the native Stephanois. But from poverty “.

A statement that barely resonated with the public gathered to attend the executive conference organized at the Salle des Arnauds in Salernes. Some are members of Solidarité populaire, a self-governing collective created during the first incarceration to help marginalized people. “We may have a few supermarkets in the village, but hundreds of residents struggle to feed themselves “, volunteer Alexia Olagnon regrets. For her, this conference is an opportunity “ to better understand the mechanisms of agribusiness and to sit down and think about solutions efficient “.

Create a “food democracy”.

Mathieu Dalmais, invited by the Confederation paysanne, Solidarité populaire and the Aupsoise bookstore Caractères Libres, explained in detail the ambitious Food Social Security (SSA) project for two hours. An idea so close to his heart that he drew an explanatory comic with the title More potatoes!? (1) and website (2).

Or the art of popularizing international and national issues to bring them back to the local level. “Food safety, if it existed, should be managed by local committees, which would choose which producers and which products to contract. “On the principle of democracy, for the right of access”to the selected diet“, insists Mathieu Dalmais. Against the existence of a food aid policy that imposes the most products”rich” I dont want.

Vitale card for 150 euros

All residents of the area must access food through the same system“. A way to remove the shame that occupies most of those who receive food aid by putting everyone on an equal footing. Thanks to the investment of 150 euros per month and per person on the Vitale card. A device that will cost 120 billion euros, or 8% of the added value produced in France.

But how to fund SSA? Membership remains the preferred strategy. Even if difficulties persist over who will foot the bill. “Wages or companies’ added value? Only employer contributions need to be created, are employee contributions also possible?“Several scenarios are being studied. In any case, there is no doubt for Mathieu” the plate is a very powerful political object “.

1. More potatoes!? For Social Food Securitytext by Mathieu Dalmais and drawing by Louise Seconda, sold for €2 each.

2. https://securite-sociale-alimentation.org/

“I gave up my engineering studies in agronomy at SupAgro Montpellier”

“Our professions are destructive.” Who does not remember this sentence uttered by several AgroParisTech students in the middle of the graduation ceremony in May 2022. The fiery speech shook the school of engineers, exposed them under a harsh light. “social and ecological destruction [provoqués par l’industrie agroalimentaire]”.

Mathieu Dalmais did the same in 2008. Less media hype. “At SupAgro Montpellier – I joined after a preparatory class in biology – I turned down an engineering degree in agronomy”. According to him, the logic taught in these schools consists of three words: digital, robotics and genetics. A sight “skinny” agriculture, which he did not like and even strongly condemned.

How to feed everyone?

Vincent is troubled by two questions: “How to feed everyone?” and “How to change agriculture?”. All while respecting the environment and farmers? He begins knowing that the investigations he pursues will not give him any satisfactory answers “drop out”. “I join conferences that offer alternative ideas, like the Alimenterre festival (1)”.

In 2017, he became a member of the ISF-Agrista association for “Engineers Without Borders”. It consists of about twenty agronomists and citizens “willing to work towards achieving food sovereignty”the issue of social food security (SSA) has become a collective spear.

For the moment, the SSA project is only in the reflection phase, however “We are approached by many local organizations, collectives, associations, lists of municipalities or even local authorities who want to practice”ISF-Agrista provides information on its website.

(1) International festival on “sustainable food” to be held from October 15 to November 30.

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