Main Issues

Greece: Manolada Strawberry Trial, Shame on you!

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_banners_logo-conf-eclvc.jpg

Slightly more than one year ago, agricultural workers employed in strawberry fields in Manolada, in Greece, were shot at by foremen when they went to demand their unpaid salaries. These abuses carried out on a large agricultural holding producing strawberries for export revealed the disgraceful situation of migrant seasonal workers within Greek industrial agriculture.

The Patras court, which was tasked with the preliminary proceedings and prosecution of the perpetrators of this crime, has just rendered a dismaying verdict:

Read more: Greece: Manolada Strawberry Trial, Shame on you!

US and EU Free Trade Agreement is recipe for trouble

TTIP harms the interests of European farmers and citizens in favor of boosting profits for international corporations

FTA%202014%20TIPP.jpgProponents of the free trade agreement between the US and EU have denounced the opposition of TTIP as dogmatic (FD, June 10th). But our opposition is not based on chagrin, but on witnessing the real-life impacts of other similar agreements on our food, environment and social well-being. 

TTIP was launched to the sounds of cheering and applause, with its advocates promising that the agreement could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions of euros in extra income. But, the European Commission’s own research undertaken by the think tank Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), has shown that the predicted additional GDP growth per year with the free trade agreement will be very low (0.05%). Furthermore, the hundreds of thousands promised new jobs are far from guaranteed.

Read more: US and EU Free Trade Agreement is recipe for...

Mozambique: Women prevented from fetching firewood and other forest products in Nacala Corridor

ISAURA SUZETE*

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_women_anapaula.mulheres.jpgEvidence of the effects of land grabbing in the region, where ProSavana is being implemented, on the peasants particularly women is beginning to show. In Nampula province, women are being prevented from passing in the areas where the foreign companies operate. They cannot access the firewood or gather wild foods. This reality was reported during a discussion panel on “Structural challenges to development of peasant agriculture in Mozambique: peoples’ demands in regard to ProSavana”, at the Second Triangular Conference of the Peoples, held on 24 July 2014, in Maputo.

In this panel, many reports were made on the violation of the access rights to land of women in particular. In rural areas, women are the ones who work the land to provide for their families and fetch firewood to cook.

Read more: Mozambique: Women prevented from fetching...

Urgent Call to Action in Solidarity with the Palestinian People: We Condemn the Murder of Family Members of UAWC Leader and Call for Justice!

And to Demand an End to the War of Occupation in Gaza by the State of Israel and its Indiscriminate Targeting of Palestinian Civilians!

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_2014-07bandera_palestina.jpg(Harare, July 24, 2014) On Sunday evening (July 20), the Israeli air force struck the house of Mr. Saad Ziada killing six members of his family (his mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law and a nephew). At the moment of the attack, Mr. Ziada was away from his home, which saved his life. Saad Ziada is a leader of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), a member of La Via Campesina.

This event occurred two days after La Via Campesina issued a solidarity call condemning the Israeli government’s illegal war of occupation on Gaza and its targeting of Palestinian civilians which constitutes a war crime, violating international law. 

Read more: Urgent Call to Action in Solidarity with the...

The government should design a seed policy specific for smallholder farmers, says the ZIMSOFF farmers

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_zimsoff_seeds_2014071.jpg(Zimbabwe, Harare, July 21, 2014) on the 3rd of June, ZIMSOFF invited various stakeholders working on seeds in Zimbabwe to learn more and share its concerns about the proposed regional seed laws. The stakeholders included the government officials, private seed companies, African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), Seed Trade Association, Agricultural Research Council, Seed Services Zimbabwe, Civil Society and Ministry of Agriculture. The meeting stimulated an interesting debate among the farmers, presenters and other participants.

The farmers highlighted that the SADC and COMESA processes are closed systems with minimal participation of CSOs and smallholder farmers, and thus, most of their issues such as the protection of indigenous knowledge systems and farmers’ rights, and the adoption of agro-ecology to achieve food sovereignty, have not been included in national and regional policies which affect their livelihoods.

Read more: The government should design a seed policy...

ZIMSOFF farmers review the implications of the proposed regional seed laws

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_zimsoff_2014061.JPG(Zimbabwe, Harare, July 18, 2014) ZIMSOFF organized a preparatory meeting on the 2nd of June to discuss the implications of the new regional seed policies, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Africa Regional Intellectual Organisation (ARIPO) namely the seed policy harmonization and Plant Variety Protection (PVP), on the smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. Sixteen ZIMSOFF Council members (who also are farmers) and representatives from the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) and Third World network (TWN) participated in the discussions aimed at building the capacity of the smallholder farmers to understand and defend their seed rights nationally.

The proposed regional seed policies, if adopted, will negatively impact on indigenous seeds which ZIMSOFF and La via Campesina promote. The COMESA seed protocol will open national borders through easing market and regulatory requirements on registered commercial seeds; while the SADC and ARIPO will promote the “commercial breeders’ rights” through Plant Variety Protection based on “DUS” (Distinctiveness, Uniformity, Stability). In general, the former, will flood both the regional and local markets with hybrid and genetic modified (GM) seeds and thus push out traditional seeds, the latter, recognizes and promotes commercial breeders and criminalize traditional breeders, who are peasant farmers. The ZIMSOFF Chairperson and La Via Campesina General Coordinator, Elizabeth Mpofu, in her opening remarks, urged the farmers to take these new developments seriously and hold the government accountable.

Read more: ZIMSOFF farmers review the implications of the...

Solidarity call with the people of Palestine

new%20logo%20small%20size.JPG

La Via Campesina
International Peasant Movement


La Via Campesina International -representing around 200 million farmers from 73 different countries around the world- condemns the Israeli war on Gaza and the crimes against the Palestinians that violate the international and humanitarian laws.

Since July 7th 2014, 214 Palestinians were killed, including at least 164 civilians of whom44 were children and 29 women. 1,585 Palestinians were injured of whom 435 are children and 282 are women. 1,660 homes were destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza directly displacing 9,900 persons.  22,600 were displaced people hosted at UNRWA schools. 900,000 people are without water supply due to inability to repair and operate infrastructure.

Read more: Solidarity call with the people of Palestine

Additional information