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Main Issues

Small-scale farmers must be put at the heart of UK’s food strategy

2015-04-LWA-logo-small.jpg(UK, August 2, 2015) The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has recently started drawing up a long-term strategy for food and farming. While the Landworker’s Alliance (LWA) agrees that a strategic approach is needed to address the challenges facing food and farming, we are extremely concerned that small-scale and family farmers have been excluded from the process. It is essential that Defra recognise the central role that small-scale and family farmers play in UK food and farming, and responds directly to their needs.

The LWA argues that we cannot create a sustainable future for food within the industrial framework that Defra is currently strengthening. Instead we need a National Food Policy based on food sovereignty principles, that puts power into the hands of people to create a more just and equitable food system. The strategy must focus on providing farmers with viable livelihoods and achieving self-sufficiency in food while addressing the key challenges of climate change, soil degradation, an ageing farming population and a lack of access to land and training for new entrants.

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Milk Crisis: Small scale farmers' opinions

2015-08-12 walking-with-Cows.jpgLWA Press Release 

(UK, August 12, 2012) In the light of the current collapse in milk prices the Land Workers Alliance has issued the following policy statement.

The Alliance Landworkers supports the protests against the collapse in milk prices organized by Farmers For Action in Britain, and by numerous farming organizations throughout Europe, including Via Campesina. 

Many members of the Landworkers’ Alliance who produce milk and dairy products are not affected by the collapse in prices because they process and sell their milk directly through local outlets. However the LWA wishes to see a thriving mainstream dairy industry based on small-scale family farms, and supports measures necessary to protect such farms from the vagaries of the global market.

Simon Fairlie, who runs a micro-dairy in Dorset and is LWA's spokesman for dairy issues, stated: "Today's average sized dairy farm with 133 cows produces milk with a retail value of about three quarters of a million pounds. It is a staggering indictment of our economic system that we can't even pay these farmers a living wage."

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Anti-farmer policies of NDA Government force Farmers to plan a Blockade of Delhi in September 2015: BKU

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-08-11_BKU.jpgPress Release

11 August 2015

The Central Government is not serious towards the problems of farmers. If the problems are not resolved, we will block all highways coming to Delhi on 30 September 2015, Lakhowal

Farmers unions affiliated with the All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM) met today at the Punjab Bhawan in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Shri Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President Bhartiya Kissan Union, Punjab. During this meeting, farmer leaders intensely discussed the current burning issues which included, the Land Acquisition Bill, NDA government position on the WTO and the FTAs with Australia, New Zealand and other agri-exporter countries, the government push for commercial release of genetically engineered Mustard, the increasing farmers suicides, the Shanta Kumar High Level Committee report for restructuring FCI, and others. The farmer suicides in India are continuing despite many promises by the Narendra Modi before the election that he would work for the Indian farmers. However after becoming Prime Minister, he expressed no concern for agrarian crisis and the continuing farmer suicides. During NDA Government since May 2014, several thousand farmers have committed suicide including hundreds of sugarcane growers due to non-payment of their long-standing dues.

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ANPFA participates in fish farming training and discussions on issues of fisher folk's communities

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-08-07_ANPF_fish.jpg(Nepal, Chitwan, July 11, 2015) All Nepal Peasants Federation , National Implementing Agency(NIA) of Medium Term Cooperation Programme Phase II -MTCP2 organized a one day workshop on Fish farming techniques and problems of fisher folks in Nepal in the historical farm "Bhumi Griha"of National Landless Right Forum, Thimaha, Chitwan on July 11, 2015. In the program chaired by NPC co-convener, Chitra Bahadur Shrestha, more than 50 participants including director of the fisheries department of government of Nepal, fish experts, university professors, agri-journalist, students and representatives of fisher folk communities and commercial fish farmers were present.  Many other important farmers leaders including former minister Ganesh Shah, NIA co-ordinator Balram Banskota, Youth Peasant Leader Pramesh Pokharel and farmers leaders of the NIA had really made this event glorious.

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UAWC distributes food processing equipment to women cooperatives

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-07-30_AUWC.jpg(Palestine, Ramallah, July 2015)- The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) distributed bread, sweets and pastry equipment to seven women's cooperatives in the Governorates of Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus, with the participation of agricultural committees and representatives of local communities, the Agriculture Department of Bethlehem and the Agriculture Department Nablus. The activity was within the project of "transition from relief to sustainable livelihood- to enhance food security in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," funded by the Canadian international Development Agency in partnership with CARE International Foundation.

The project director Eng. Doaa' Zayed stressed that the quality and quantity of the supplied equipment for the targeted cooperatives will bring a tangible change to the level of women's income in those cooperatives since it will reduce the time and effort of production, hence allow them to increase their production.

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More than 30,000 beneficiaries from UAWC's projects

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_AUWC_2015-07-30.jpg(Palestine, Ramallah, July 2015) The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) issued a report about the achievements and projects it conducted in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last year. The report pointed that there were 30,184 beneficiaries from UAWC's projects in 2014. UAWC mentioned in its report that 15 projects have been implemented during 2014, including five relief projects that benefited 19,964 families affected by the latest Israeli occupation's aggression on Gaza Strip and 19 projects in the West Bank benefiting 10,220 poor and marginalized families in more than 152 villages and towns, particularly in areas "C", where the Israeli occupation has restrictions over national and international organizations work in these areas.

UAWC's acting director, Fuad Abu Saif, confirmed that UAWC has been able, despite all the obstacles and challenges, to play an important role in area (c), where the Israeli occupation has full control over lands and resources to expand their settlements and the Apartheid Wall.

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Yes, there are peasants in Europe and their rights must be protected

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-07-22-genevesc.jpgPress release

(Geneva, June, 22 2015) - the European peasant organisations of the Via Campesina and their allies (FIAN, CETIM, Mundubat, Pain pour le Prochain) met in Geneva for three days at the beginning of June 2015 in order to meet with European representatives and discuss the new draft of the Declaration on the rights of peasants and other persons working in rural areas.

This workshop followed the second session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group for the United Nations Declaration on the rights of peasants, which was held at the Human Rights Council in February this year. Florence Kroff of FIAN Belgium explained, "In light of the poor participation of representatives from European Union member states in this negotiation session, it seemed vital to us to organise a specific meeting with the European Union delegations to Geneva, in order to discuss the important content of the Declaration and provide perspective as experts and as European farmers."

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