Agrarian Reform and Water

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

Thousands of Polish farmers march in Warsaw

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-Poland-warsaw_march.jpg(Poland, Warsaw, February 17, 2015) Today 6000 farmers marched in Warsaw to protest the Polish government’s failure to address their longstanding demands. After failed talks between Union leaders and the prime minister this afternoon farmers built an occupation camp outside the prime ministers palace and have vowed to remain until their demands are met.

Protests have been taking place across the country over the last three weeks with a range of organisations from community groups and local protest committees to regional and national unions blockading roads and government ministries in hundreds of locations. At the national level the protests are being coordinated by the farmers’ branch of the Solidarity union. The protests today are also being supported by unions representing bee-keepers, coal miners and nurses who are also on strike.

Read more: Thousands of Polish farmers march in Warsaw

Polish Farmers Blockade Motorways Across Country

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015_12-protest-rolnikow-przed-urzedem-wojewodzkim-3-lutego-2015-r-123234.jpgPRESS RELEASE 

(Poland, February, 5 2015) This week thousands of Polish family farmers turned out to protest in over 50 locations across the country. Over 150 tractors blockaded the A2 motorway into Warsaw on the 3rd February and hundreds more continue to close major roads and picket government offices in other regions. The farmers are vowing to continue the struggle until the government agrees to enter talks with the unions and commits to addressing what the farmers see as a crisis in Polish agriculture.

These actions represent a dramatic escalation of protests that have been simmering across the country over the last year. Edward Kosmal, chairman of the farmers protest committee for West-Pomeranian Region said: “We are ready for dialogue. We look forward to meeting with you Prime Minister and beginning a comprehensive government commitment to solving the problems of Polish agriculture. If you do not enter into a dialogue with the Union, we would be forced to tighten our forms of protest.”

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Analysis of MST on Agrarian Reform and the agrarian question in Brazil

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_agrarianreform_stedilecongress.jpgIn February 2014, Landless Workers' Movement (MST) celebrated its 30th anniversary and also held its VI National Congress. The motto of the congress “Struggle for, work towards a People’s Land Reform” captured the movement’s history and its future work. Through the implementation of a Peoples’ Land Reform, MST aims to secure the people’s right to decide what to produce and what to eat. MST struggles for land so that it is not used to produce ethanol or cellulose. The Congress stressed that they want that ‘’el campo’’ (the land destined for agricultural production) to become a decent place to live, where the youth can live in a worthy manner and everybody enjoys her/his right to education, health, and to develop own industries in order to increase the value of our production.

Read more: Analysis of MST on Agrarian Reform and the...

Mozambican Peasants vs. the Great African Land Grab

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_sustainableagriculture_woman-unac-moz.jpgMaputo -- With a shimmering coastline stretching for more than 1,500 miles along the Indian Ocean, heartland game parks rivaling the Serengeti and a cornucopia of natural resources -- located mostly in land used by humble farming communities -- Mozambique is getting quite a lot of attention these days as one of Africa's most upcoming investment hubs and in vogue destinations. Investors have not wasted any time in carving out their stake in the country two decades into the relative stability following a 16-year civil war on the heels of independence.

The cash-strapped Mozambican state technically owns all of the land within its borders, offering leases that are renewable up to 99 years to foreign governments and corporations for agribusiness or extractive industrial megaprojects.

Read more: Mozambican Peasants vs. the Great African Land...

Call for registration: III International Peasant Conference on Land

FOR WIDE CIRCULATION

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Dear friends,

UNAC (União Nacional de Camponeses), Mozambican Peasants’ Nation Union is hereby inviting organisations and peasant movements around the world, as well as activists, scholars and individuals interested in the issues and challenges of the peasantry, to participate in the III International Peasant Conference on Land held in Maputo, Mozambique.

UNAC, was founded in April, 1987 and registered in 1994 with the overall aim of representing the peasants and peasant organisations while ensuring their social, economic and cultural rights through strengthening its organisations, participating in shaping governmental public policies and development strategy, in order, to guarantee food sovereignty, while considering youth and gender equality.

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Solidarity with Struggle for Land in Shimoga, Karnataka: "We will fight unto death!"

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Shimoga2.jpgBy Aditi Pinto

Thursday, 5 June 2014

In the foothills of the Western Ghats, in the villages of Badanehaalu, Bandigudda, Belligere, and Udaynagara in Shimoga district, Karnataka, small farmer and pastoralist families constantly struggle for land against the Forest Department. These families have lived here for over 70 years, each farming small plots of 0.5 – 3 acres along with doing other wage labour to fill their stomach. Most families did not have document proof, and were labelled bagar hukum or “without permission” cultivators.

One year ago, in March 2013, The Forest Department deployed JCB and Hitachi bulldozers to dig trenches, clear fields and remove all signs of cultivation. The bulldozers were confronted with a band of 25 women villagers, marching up to challenge them. When asked what motivated her to go fight the machines, one woman told me: “Seeing our farms being cleared, I had an image of poison running through the bodies of my children!” Download article here

 

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