- Published on Thursday, 16 April 2015 21:14
Press Release—La Via Campesina
(Zimbabwe, Harare, April 17, 2015) Today thousands of women and men farmers of the international peasant movement La Via Campesina mobilize worldwide against Transnational Corporations (TNCs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) which affect peasant and small-scale agriculture and national food sovereignty. Since April 17, 1996 La Via Campesina celebrates this day as a global day of action with allies and friends.
Free Trade Agreements promote TNCs and a capitalist industrialised mode of production heavily reliant on agrochemicals. These have increased the displacement, expulsion, and disappearance of peasants. Free Trade Agreements put profit over all other rights and concerns. Currently, the most significant FTAs in history are being negotiated by the European Union, the United States, and Canada. These agreements, if finalised, will liberalize trade and investment markets in favour of transnational companies (see tv.viacampesina.org/April-17th).
- Published on Monday, 13 April 2015 22:02
(Argentina, Buenos, April 11, 2015) The IV Assembly of Youth marked the beginning of the VI Congress of the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations, CLOC-Via Campesina in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The congress started on the 10th and will end on the 17th of April, and will close with a massive march in commemoration of the International Day of Peasant's Struggle.
Over a thousand representatives of peasant movements from the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe will attend this gathering, united by the slogan: Against Capitalism for the sovereignty of our peoples: America is united and continues to struggle. Diego Montón, representative of CLOC-VC’s general secretariat said that “The congress is arranged every four years in order to join forces in the struggle against systematic human rights violations to which our peasantry is exposed”.
- 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.