Main Issues

Women’s Struggle: for Food Sovereignty; against violence and agribusiness

Afiche 8 de Marzo LVC 2015 EN - Web.jpg(Harare, March 8th, 2015) Today, March 8th, International Women’s Day, the Via Campesina calls for the coordination of actions to highlight the fundamental role played by women in guaranteeing Food Sovereignty – not only as a means of confronting the food crisis but as an essential ethical principle that has as its basis social justice and equality. On this day of struggle, we denounce the prevailing violence, against women specifically, because the agribusiness model and capitalist interests in the countryside have exacerbated social and gender inequalities.

It is in this way that we struggle against patriarchy, which affects all aspects of our lives within our families, our organisations and communities and all that has to do with our gender and our sexuality. We also express our condemnation of feminicide, the murder of millions of girl children and women in all parts of the world, and we stand in solidarity with all the people who suffer discrimination and violence because of their gender and/or sexual identity.

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The Matthadiguda Declaration for Food Sovereignty in Telangana -2015

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-matthadiguda-_food-_sovereinty-panel11.jpg(India, Telanganam February 24, 2015) Over 600 delegates participated in the Telangana Food Sovereignty Summit organised by the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India and hosted by its member organisation Telangana Adivasi Aikya Vedika, in Matthadiguda village, Adilabad district, Telangana, between February 22 and 24, 2015. Diverse social movements and civil society organisations of Telangana as also Adivasi, Dalit and Farmers movements from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand, Karnataka and Maharashtra participated and expressed their solidarity with the Matthadiguda Declaration on Food Sovereignty in Telangana:

 We the adivasis, dalits, peasants, shepherds and co-producer citizens of Telangana, Indiaassert our collective rights to our land, forests, water, air, indigenous seeds and animals, our diverse food cultures, our knowledge systems and local markets. We shall safeguard our sacred relationship with Mother Earth and protect this abundance of life for future generations. We declare that it is women of our communities who are leading this movement.

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Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Nyeleni_agroecolgy_53.jpgNyéléni, Mali

27 February 2015

We are delegates representing diverse organizations and international movements of small-scale food producers and consumers, including peasants, indigenous peoples and communities (together with hunters and gatherers), family farmers, rural workers, herders and pastoralists, fisherfolk and urban people. Together, the diverse constituencies our organizations represent produce some 70% of the food consumed by humanity. They are the primary global investors in agriculture, as well as the primary providers of jobs and livelihoods in the world. 

We gathered here at the Nyéléni Center in Sélingué, Mali from 24 to 27 of February, 2015, to come to a common understanding of agroecology as a key element in the construction of Food Sovereignty, and to develop joint strategies to promote Agroecology and defend it from co-optation. We are grateful to the people of Mali who have welcomed us in this beautiful land. They have taught us through their example, that the dialogue of our various forms of knowledge is based on respectful listening and on the collective construction of shared decisions. We stand in solidarity with our Malian sisters and brothers who struggle – sometimes sacrificing their lives – to defend their territories from the latest wave of land grabbing that affects so many of our countries. Agroecology means that we stand together in the circle of life, and this implies that we must also stand together in the circle of struggle against land grabbing and the criminalization of our movements.

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There is no Agroecology without Women

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Nyeleni_agroecolgy_38.jpgMali, Sélingue, February 25, 2015 – Although men still have the most privileges with regard to access to land, credits and other agricultural inputs, one cannot speak of agroecology without women. Women play an important role in the food production all over the world, thus there is no people´s Agroecology without a central and leadership role for women.

This was the reason why in the afternoon of the first day of the International Forum on Agroecology taking place in Sélingue, Mali (24-27 March), more than 60 women from Africa, Asia, Americas and Europe decided to convene a parallel “women space” to have a common understanding on the significance of their work as peasants, fisherfolks or pastoralists. Nandini Jairam, a peasant farmer from Karnataka, India said “it is thus essential that women discuss and exchange their experiences and challenges among themselves in order to have a clear understanding of the value of their valuable work”.

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Mali: "Agroecology is in our hands! We are building it further together!" - Opening of the International Agroecology Forum

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_mali-agroecology.jpgSélingué, 24 February 2015 – Today, the sun has risen brighter than ever in Mali to warm the more than 250 delegates of the first International Forum on Agroecology being held at the Nyéléni Center in Sélingué, south Mali  hosted by Confederation of Peasants Organizations of Mali (CNOP) and La Via Campesina, and organised by organisations which are part of the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC). There are women and men, from diverse constituencies, among them farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous people, pastoralists and urban consumers from all corners of the world, arrived to the center in buses from Bamako and other regions of Mali (See photos on tvCampesina).

“I decided to come here because we are building a necessary movement, that will claim back what was always ours: our peasant knowledge of doing agriculture “, said a woman farmer from Mali, as she was running to attend the women caucus, this afternoon.

Over the next four days, the women and men of the conference will debate, share experiences and celebrate agroecology with the view to reinforcing a common vision and principles, as well as deciding on a common strategy to claim back the concept of agroecology, “beyond just the scientific aspect, to encompass its social, economic and political elements”, as Gilberto Schneider, from the Movimento dos Pequenos Agricultores (MPA) in Brazil, pointed out.

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The land grabbers of the Nacala Corridor

2015-02-19-Mozambique_man-cycling-dirt-road-Nacala-corridor_GRAIN.jpgA new report by Mozambique's National Farmers' Union (UNAC) and GRAIN shows there is a colonial-style scramble for Africa's farm lands under way. Politically-connected companies based in offshore tax havens have grabbed hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland from peasants in Mozambique. Download the PDF Report

Mali: La Via Campesina and allies host an International Agroecology Forum to address Food Sovereignty

MEDIA ADVISORY |La Via Campesina

Nyéléni Centre, Mali(Bamako, 19 February 2015) – More than 200 delegates, among them peasants, family farmers, fisher folk, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, agricultural workers, consumers, urban poor organizations, NGOs, academics and other social movements will be at the Nyéléni Centre in Mali from 24 to 27 February, to take part in the first International Forum on Agroecology. This forum takes places at a time where the world is facing economic crisis, the climate is changing, and the Mother Earth is being aggressively exploited by the corporate model of death and land grabbing.

According to La Via Campesina, agroecology is essential to humanity, since it builds autonomy and a better life for small scale food producers, produces more healthy food, provides a strong base for food sovereignty, and allows rural peoples to live in harmony with and take care of our Mother Earth. Peasant and small scale food producers’ agroecology is considered to be the model of life, of farms with farmers, of food producers with productive resources, of rural communities with families, of countryside with trees and forests.

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