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India farmer kills himself at Delhi

An Indian farmer has died after hanging himself from a tree before a huge crowd at a rally addressed by the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal.

Gajendra Singh, from the western state of Rajasthan, was taken to hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead.

Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had staged the rally in Delhi to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's controversial land acquisition bill.

Opponents of the bill say it will hurt the interests of farmers.

Read more: India farmer kills himself at Delhi

Argentina: Peasants gather for food sovereignty

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-cloc-food_sovereignty.jpg(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”.

Read more: Argentina: Peasants gather for food sovereignty

6th Congress of CLOC-Via Campesina: To guarantee the right to food

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-cloc_v_cong_4_-_leonardo_pena.jpg6th Congress of CLOC-Via Campesina

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]

Read more: 6th Congress of CLOC-Via Campesina: To...

New publication - Seed laws that criminalise farmers: resistance and fightback

La Via Campesina | GRAIN

Media release - 8 April 2015

For immediate release

Seed laws booklet EN COVER.jpgPeasant 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.

Read more: New publication - Seed laws that criminalise...

La Via Campesina extremely concerned about Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp situation

La Via Campesina Release, April 7th, 2015

2015-Yarmouk camp.jpgLa  Via Campesina is extremely concerned about the situation in the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in southern Damascus

La Via Campesina has been watching recent reports of the invasion of the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk by extremist armed forces with great concern. It comes at a time when the camp is suffering from a two-year siege on it. We are extremely worried about the well being of our friends and partners in the food sovereignty projects on the ground, who have been targeted by  armed forces. The recent targeted execution of civil society activist Firas Al Naji—a founder of food sovereignty projects in Yarmouk (which aim to ease the suffering of a community living with severe malnutrition due to the siege), among other initiatives—is a dark example of the grave situation that civil society faces.  We are also deeply concerned for the safety of Abdullah Al Khateeb and other human rights rights defenders targeted by militant groups. The threat against all of these active members of civil society is massive, and we do not want to stand quietly aside while they and their community are targeted.

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UAWC Celebrates Land Day in Bethlehem

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015_UAWC_land_day_celebrations.jpeg(Palestinem, Ramallah)- The Union of Agricultural Work Committees and its agricultural committees in the Governorates of Hebron and Bethlehem organized land day activities under the slogan "Struggle for Land." A demonstration was launched from Al-Khader in Bethlahem Governorate, and the participants planted olive saplings in an area surrounded by three Israeli Settlements.

UAWC pointed that land activities will continue in other Governorates, where the agricultural committees will plant saplings near Israeli settlements or areas that are threatened with Israeli confiscation. UAWC emphasized on the importance of unifying the work and effort done to protect our land from the Israeli occupation's violations.

Read more: UAWC Celebrates Land Day in Bethlehem

UAWC Celebrates International Women's Day

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-UAWC_Women_day_celebration.jpeg(Palestine, March 8, 2015) The Union of Agricultural Work Committees celebrated the International Women's Day with the Palestinian women through organizing a photo gallery and workshop titled "Women Give without Boundaries."

In his speech the Chairperson of UAWC's board of directors Ali Hasouneh emphasized on the achievements of women cooperatives and their important role in strengthening the Palestinian products. Hasouneh added that the photo gallery reflects the successes of Palestinian women especially in area "c" where the occupation aims at their displacement but they refuse and resist.

Read more: UAWC Celebrates International Women's Day

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