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International Forum on Agroecology Declaration brings common understanding of agroecology

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Nyeleni_agroecolgy_43.jpgLVC, MaB, MAELA, ROPPA, WFF, WFFP, WAMIP, IPC

For immediate release 

Zimbabwe, Harare, 18 March 2015 – “Agroecology is political; it requires us to challenge and transform structures of power in society. We need to put the control of seeds, biodiversity, land and territories, waters, knowledge, culture and the commons in the hands of the peoples who feed the world,” according to the declaration of the International Forum of Agroecology.

More than 200 people took part in the forum, held in Nyéléni, Mali, from February 23 to 27, representing organizations of peasants, indigenous people, agricultural workers, artisanal fisherfolks, and nomadic pastoralists, as well as consumers and other urban people. They met to develop joint strategies to promote agroecology and defend it from corporate co-optation.

The declaration, available in EnglishSpanish and French, calls for an immediate transformation based on truly agroecological food production by peasants, artisanal fishers, urban farmers etc. “Agroecology was always essential to humanity, because it builds autonomy for the food producers and provides a strong base for food sovereignty,” says the document.

The participants warn that “agroecology is at a crossroads.” They note that “many multilateral institutions, governments, universities and research centers, some NGOs, corporations and others, [have] finally recognized  agroecology. “But, they continue, "they have tried to redefine it as a narrow set of technologies, to offer some tools that appear to ease the sustainability crisis of industrial food production, while the existing structures of power remain unchallenged.”

They call this the “co-optation of agroecology to fine-tune the industrial food system, while paying lip service to the environmental discourse”, and note that this has various names, including “climate smart agriculture”, “sustainable-“ or “ecological-intensification”, industrial monoculture production of “organic” food, etc.  For them, “these are not agroecology: we reject them, and we will fight to expose and block this insidious appropriation of agroecology.”

Read more: International Forum on Agroecology Declaration...

1000s farmers stay put on Parliament Street in Delhi: Farmer Unions launch massive agitation against NDA’s anti-farmer policies

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(First Published by Farmer's World)

India, New Delhi, March 18th 2015: Major farmer unions of India affiliated with the All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM) have launched a massive agitation against NDA’s anti-farmer policies, and to seek a resolution to several burning issues pertaining to farm livelihoods, on March 18th 2015 through a Kisan Maha Panchayat in the heart of India’s capital. Thousands of farmers have resolved to stay put on Parliament Street in India's capital until the government engages them in a dialogue to resolve various burning issues. Anti-farmer measures through the Land Acquisition Ordinance, recent report of Shanta Kumar High Level Committee on restructuring FCI, the mindless push by the government of GM crops, lack of fair and remunerative prices for farm produce, demand for a farm income commission, removing agriculture from free trade agreements including WTO, adequate disaster relief for farmers etc., are issues on the agenda of these farm unions. The acute farm distress in India, marked by unabated farm suicides was flagged as a matter that needs urgent address. It is reported that during the NDA Government since May 2014, more than 7000 farmers have committed suicide. The government, instead of increasing Budget allocation to deal with the agrarian crisis, has drastically reduced agriculture budget drastically from around 31 thousand crore in 2014-15 to around 25 thousand crores in 2015-16. In fact, the budget outlays for Dept of Agriculture and Cooperation as well as for animal husbandry and fisheries are down to the levels of budgetary allocations five years ago!

To protest against various anti-farmer policies, and to secure some long pending demands that will guarantee minimum living incomes to all farm households, thousands of farmers from all over India have congregated at the Kisan Maha Panchayat on Parliament Street in the heart of the capital today (March 18th 2015).

Read more: 1000s farmers stay put on Parliament Street in...

Nouminren Women Association: Japan should not go to war; clarify Japanese Constitution

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-03-08_Japan_Women.jpg(Japan, March 8, 2015) NOUMINREN women association, Japan, on International Women’s Day, organized various events around the country and in Tokyo a large central rally where the Nouminren Women Association is a part of organizers.

This year’s main theme of the central meeting is “Never allow Japan to become a country going to war and shed light on the Japanese Constitution.” It also focus on the issues of nuclear weapons, military bases and nuclear power. It emphasizes GENDER EQUALITY. In the meeting, a female economist will talk about an economics for happiness, an economics completely against Abenomics neoliberal agendas.

Read more: Nouminren Women Association: Japan should not...

Women Peasants fight for food sovereignty, against violence and agribusiness

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_EVC_2015_Women_International.jpgECVC Press Release: March 8th - International Women’s Day

Women Peasants fight for food sovereignty, against violence and agribusiness

This 8th of March, International Women’s Day, we, the women of the European Coordination Via Campesina, the historical creators of life, guardians of traditional seeds, caretakers of food and landscape diversity, vessels for passing on knowledge, raise our voices to say:

  • NO to patriarchy.
  • NO to neoliberal policies.
  • NO to agribusiness, responsible for exiling thousands of male and female peasants from our lands, to the industrialization of agriculture and climate change.
  • NO to the so-called free trade agreements such as CETA or TTIP, with completely obscure and antidemocratic procedures, whose only goal is to obtain the maximum amount of profits for multinational corporations at the expense of citizens’ rights (right to food, health, social equity, labor rights, public policies, a natural environment…).
  • NO to land-grabbing and taking over natural resources, no in Europe or anywhere else in the world.
  • NO to working condition precariousness.
  • NO to violence and oppression.

Read more: Women Peasants fight for food sovereignty,...

20,000 Protesters Hold Demonstrations Across Brazil

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-lvc-MST-Protests.jpgBrazilian social movements are staging massive protests across Brazil demanding agrarian reform

First published by telesurtv.net

(Porto Alegre, Brazil, March 11, 2015) Thousands of activists, including members from the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) staged demonstrations in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre on Wednesday demanding the implementation of land reform, food sovereignty and the creation of public policies for small-scale agricultural producers.

“Within this national round of mobilizations, with the small farmers' movements throughout the state, our goal is to once again put agrarian reform on the national agenda and to demand the construction of a program for the production of healthy food for the nourishment of the Brazilian people," explained the national coordinator of Via Campesina, Cedenir de Oliveira.

Read more: 20,000 Protesters Hold Demonstrations Across...

Statement of the Meeting of Agroecology Farmer to Farmer

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-florida_19.jpgLVC North America

Fellsmere and Florida City, Florida, United States of America - 12 - 16 February 2015 

We are 55 people from 19 organizations from 4 countries - the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Brazil, and we are of the following origins: Mexican, Mexican-American, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Chilean, African American, Native American, Puerto Rican, Brazilian, Canadian, and North America.  We are farmer workers, family farmers and peasants, and technicians from member organizations of Via Campesina, as well as allies from other farmers' organizations, NGOs, students and academics, interpreters and other supporters.

We gathered in the Campesinos’ Community Gardens in Fellsmere and Florida City  in Florida from the 12th to the 16th of  February 2015 to undertake  the First Encuentro ( or Meeting) of Campesino to Campesino Agroecology in the North American region of Via Campesina. This Encuentro, jointly organized by member organizations of Via Campesina North America, the Farm Workers Association of Florida (FWAF) and the Rural Coalition, has made possible an exchange of knowledge and collaborative learning which included sharing traditional wisdom, respect for Mother Earth, and stimulated the vital contributions of women and youth.

Read more: Statement of the Meeting of Agroecology Farmer...

International Women’s Day: Via Campesina South Asia calls for gender justice

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-sevagram_march_8.JPGLVC South Asia (March 8, 2015)

On the International Women’s Day, La Via Campesina South Asia issues a call for gender justice:

Women of the World, Unite! Farmer, adivasi, pastoralist, and landless women – defend your rights! Without organized women, there can be no agroecology, no agrarian reform, no food sovereignty! We struggle against violence and agribusiness!

For the full international call, please click here.

Rural women of the world, unite!

Though word “farmer” is gender neutral, when people think of farmers, they automatically picture men. This is so internalized that we have to specify “women farmers” to address the significant half of ‘the farming world’. The blindness to women in agriculture goes beyond language; the visible-invisible contribution of women in the agriculture sector and rural society is completely neglected. Members of LVC South Asia take this day as an opportunity to share the realities of rural women in each of our areas – farmers facing sexual violence in North India, religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh, and militarism in Sri Lanka.

Read more: International Women’s Day: Via Campesina South...

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