Agrarian Reform and Water

1000s farmers stay put on Parliament Street in Delhi: Farmer Unions launch massive agitation against NDA’s anti-farmer policies

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(First Published by Farmer's World)

India, New Delhi, March 18th 2015: Major farmer unions of India affiliated with the All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM) have launched a massive agitation against NDA’s anti-farmer policies, and to seek a resolution to several burning issues pertaining to farm livelihoods, on March 18th 2015 through a Kisan Maha Panchayat in the heart of India’s capital. Thousands of farmers have resolved to stay put on Parliament Street in India's capital until the government engages them in a dialogue to resolve various burning issues. Anti-farmer measures through the Land Acquisition Ordinance, recent report of Shanta Kumar High Level Committee on restructuring FCI, the mindless push by the government of GM crops, lack of fair and remunerative prices for farm produce, demand for a farm income commission, removing agriculture from free trade agreements including WTO, adequate disaster relief for farmers etc., are issues on the agenda of these farm unions. The acute farm distress in India, marked by unabated farm suicides was flagged as a matter that needs urgent address. It is reported that during the NDA Government since May 2014, more than 7000 farmers have committed suicide. The government, instead of increasing Budget allocation to deal with the agrarian crisis, has drastically reduced agriculture budget drastically from around 31 thousand crore in 2014-15 to around 25 thousand crores in 2015-16. In fact, the budget outlays for Dept of Agriculture and Cooperation as well as for animal husbandry and fisheries are down to the levels of budgetary allocations five years ago!

To protest against various anti-farmer policies, and to secure some long pending demands that will guarantee minimum living incomes to all farm households, thousands of farmers from all over India have congregated at the Kisan Maha Panchayat on Parliament Street in the heart of the capital today (March 18th 2015).

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20,000 Protesters Hold Demonstrations Across Brazil

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2015-lvc-MST-Protests.jpgBrazilian social movements are staging massive protests across Brazil demanding agrarian reform

First published by telesurtv.net

(Porto Alegre, Brazil, March 11, 2015) Thousands of activists, including members from the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) staged demonstrations in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre on Wednesday demanding the implementation of land reform, food sovereignty and the creation of public policies for small-scale agricultural producers.

“Within this national round of mobilizations, with the small farmers' movements throughout the state, our goal is to once again put agrarian reform on the national agenda and to demand the construction of a program for the production of healthy food for the nourishment of the Brazilian people," explained the national coordinator of Via Campesina, Cedenir de Oliveira.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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