Main Issues

Mozambique: Peasants showcase their Agro-ecological Products at the Country’s Largest Fair

unac-facim.jpgMarracuene, 25 August 2014 - Mozambique’s International Trade Fair (FACIM) started this Monday and will go on for the whole week. It has attracted many local companies and international companies and corporations too, to explore opportunities for new investments and businesses in the country. Besides the overwhelming presence of large-scale economic interests seeking new business opportunities, there are also peasant organisations at FACIM. UNAC (Mozambique’s Peasants’ National Union) and other peasant organisations have ‘stands’ placed at the CEPAGRI pavilion (Centro de Promoção da Agricultura), together with the Ministry of Agriculture and other several groups promoting national agricultural products and livestock, organic crops, as well as agricultural equipment and technology.

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India - Don’t allow field trials of GM crops: farmers, activists

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_IMG_20140723_112112903_HDR.jpgThe recent decision of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to allow field trials of GM rice, mustard, cotton, chickpea and brinjal has been met with strong opposition from farmers’ groups and environmental activists.

Seeking the intervention of Union Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javdekar, the Bhartiya Kisan Union has asked for “annulment” of the approvals.

Questioning the need for release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the fields, the BKU leaders said they were concerned over the nation’s seed and food sovereignty.

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Greece: Manolada Strawberry Trial, Shame on you!

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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