- Published on Monday, 13 April 2015 20:35
An important achievement from the International Year of Family Farming which the UN declared in 2014, in the context of the food crisis, has been to amplify the debate between agribusiness and peasant agriculture, which the symbiosis between the former and big media had practically silenced.
At the official level, for example, FAO General Director José Graziano da Silva, in his opening speech at the 24th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) in Rome (September), declared that policymakers should support a broad array of approaches to overhauling global food systems, making them healthier and more sustainable while acknowledging that “we cannot rely on an input intensive model to increase production and that the solutions of the past have shown their limits”... Calling for a “paradigm shift”, he said that today's main challenges are to lower the use of agricultural inputs, especially water and chemicals, in order to put agriculture, forestry and fisheries on a more sustainable and productive long-term path.[i]
- Published on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 15:29
La Via Campesina | GRAIN
Media release - 8 April 2015
For immediate release
Peasant seeds – the pillar of food production – are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly limit what farmers can do with their seeds. Seed saving, which has been the basis of farming for thousands of years, is quickly being criminalised.
What can we do? A new booklet and poster from La Via Campesina and GRAIN documents how big business and governments are moving to stop farmers from saving and exchanging their seeds, and shows how farmers are fighting back.
Control over seeds must remain in peasants' hands. This is the principle, based in the production process, that guarantees the food sovereignty of rural communities and urban populations against multinationals and their enormous profits. Over centuries, peasant farmers have created the thousands of varieties of crops that are the basis of the world's food supply and diversified diets, says La Via Campesina's Guy Kastler.
But for corporations who want to impose laws that will give them complete control of land, farming, food and the profits that could be made from this sector, these time-tested practices around seeds are an obstacle.
- Published on Tuesday, 07 April 2015 17:45
La Via Campesina Release, April 7th, 2015
La Via Campesina is extremely concerned about the situation in the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in southern Damascus
La Via Campesina has been watching recent reports of the invasion of the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk by extremist armed forces with great concern. It comes at a time when the camp is suffering from a two-year siege on it. We are extremely worried about the well being of our friends and partners in the food sovereignty projects on the ground, who have been targeted by armed forces. The recent targeted execution of civil society activist Firas Al Naji—a founder of food sovereignty projects in Yarmouk (which aim to ease the suffering of a community living with severe malnutrition due to the siege), among other initiatives—is a dark example of the grave situation that civil society faces. We are also deeply concerned for the safety of Abdullah Al Khateeb and other human rights rights defenders targeted by militant groups. The threat against all of these active members of civil society is massive, and we do not want to stand quietly aside while they and their community are targeted.
- Published on Tuesday, 07 April 2015 16:21
Collective adrenaline ran high as the World Social Forum opened on March 24 in Tunis. It had not yet been five years since a peaceful revolution brought a dictatorship long backed by Western political superpowers to its knees and ignited the fire of the Arab Spring that burns to this day. And it had not yet been a week since shooters stormed the Bardo Museum, killing 22, and retesting the resolve of a delicately budding democracy.
Tens of thousands of delegates from across the globe converged in Tunis not only to show support for Tunisian sovereignty, but also to share their own local struggles and solutions while advocating change in the face of interlinked systemic injustices. The opening march easily demonstrated the diversity of the constituency--bands of Tunisian students in perfect stride with Latin American labor organizers and Sub-Saharan African small-scale food producers, knit together by the unraveling food, climate, energy, and financial crises.