Agrarian Reform and Water

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

 

Hungry for Land. Small farmers feed the world- with less than a quarter of all farmland

GRAIN/La Via Campesina media release

Kenya_Maasia-pastoralists-preparing-maize-harvest-Narok_AmiVitaleFAO.pngGovernments and international agencies frequently boast that small farmers control the largest share of the world's agricultural land. When the director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation inaugurated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, he sang the praises of family farmers but didn't once mention the need for land reform. Instead, he announced that family farms already manage most of the world's farmland a whopping 70%, according to his team.

But a new review of the data carried out by GRAIN reveals that the opposite is true. Small farms, which produce most of the world's food, are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world's farmland – or less than one fifth if you leave out China and India.

Read more: Hungry for Land. Small farmers feed the world-...

Philippines : The government’s failure to redistribute land to the rural poor.

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_philippinesfarmers.jpg(Manila, March 12, 2014) Up to 300 farmers from five northern provinces descended on Manila on Wednesday to mark the start of Lent with a rally to protest against the government’s failure to redistribute hundreds of thousands of hectares of land to the rural poor.

Labeling themselves the “calvary of peasants,” the protesters symbolized their hardship by carrying crosses to the offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City.

“Small farmers have been systematically neglected,” said protest leader Jaime Tadeo.

Read more: Philippines : The government’s failure to...

Declaration of Agadir

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_LVC_Maroc_MEeting_Josiescaled.jpg(Agadir, March 15, 2014) We, union organisations, peasant movements and social movements:

-The National Federation for the Agricultural Sector: Morocco (FNSA)/Moroccan Workers’ Union (UMT)

- National Union of Inshore and Deep Sea Fishermen: Morocco (SNMPCM)

- The French Peasants Confederation

- Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)

- The Senegalese National Council for Rural Cooperation and Coordination (CNCR)

- ATTAC/CADTM Morocco

- The Association of Rural Women and the Fight for Land Association: Tunisia

Met as part of the international peasant movement VIA CAMPESINA at Agadir on the 13th, 14th and 15th March 2014, under the slogan : “For the land and the sovereignty of our peoples! In solidarity and in struggle!”

Read more: Declaration of Agadir

Stop Land Grabbing in the Philippines!

International Solidarity Statement Issued by La Via Campesina South East and East Asia

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_banner.jpg(Bangkok, March 6, 2014) La Via Campesina sends their solidarity and full support to the small-scale farmers struggling against land grabbing in Plaridel, Sumalo, Bulacan province, in Macabud, Rizal Province and in many part of Philippines.

Now the farmers in Culianin, in the town of Plaridel, in Bulacan province, are currently struggling against massive agricultural land conversions done by Vista Land Properties, owned by former Philippine Senator Manuel Villar. Named “Lumina Plaridel,” the housing project severely affected local farming livelihoods: damaging installed irrigation systems, causing flooding to nearby farms as well as disrupting farmers’ planting and harvesting routines in the area. So far, around 12.47 hectares of agriculturally viable land in Culianin are being converted, directly affecting as much as 85% of the entire community. Irrigated farmlands are being bulldozed, and farmers are constantly threatened with the destruction of their livelihoods. This was despite the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) prohibiting the land use conversion of all irrigated and irrigable lands.

Read more: Stop Land Grabbing in the Philippines!

Land grabbing in Philippines

Report on the Solidarity Mission to Stop Land Grabbing

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_solidarity_missionscaled.jpg(Philippines, April 2013) Land grabbing is a political-economic issue that happens internationally and nationally, and has historically not only threatened food sovereignty but also people’s everyday life. Land grabbing as well as natural resources grabbing has been happening over a century, since Philipines’ colonization by the Spanish in 1500s. Since then lands were taken away from the local farmers and given to the catholic authorities, private companies and “big” rich families with ties to the Spanish colonial officials. Thus, the local farmers were deprived of their key livelihood source. Consequently, this made the issue of the redistribution of land and the broader Agrarian Reform urgent and a vital issue of concern to the Filipino farmers and PARAGOS. The establishment of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Agrarian Reform Special Account Fund in 1971 and the promulgation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) in 1988 were attempts to address the land issue. Under Marcos regime, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was ratified as the land redistribution program. Under the CARL, both public lands and private agricultural lands were targeted for redistribution to the farmers. However, large tracts of land have not yet been allocated two decades after the implementation of the program. Moreover, some lands instead of being redistributed to the farmers have been privatized and titled, thus exempting them from the program. The Yulo Sugar Estate in Calamba is one such case among many others. The poor redistribution of land in the Philippines is thus a result of the nature of its colonial history and the inefficient implementation of Agrarian Reform (by DAR) in the last three decades.

Read more: Land grabbing in Philippines

Brazil : Democratization of the state and political changes are challenges for Agrarian Reform

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_stedilecongress.jpg(Brazilia, February 11, 2014) After two years of intense debates, the rural workers arrived at the VI MST National Congress to consolidate a new agrarian program, called People's Agrarian Reform. 

This past Tuesday (11/02), João Pedro Stédile, of the National Coordination of the MST, and Guilherme Delgado, P.h.D in Economics (Unicamp), helped discuss the theme in more depth. 

“We did not make a classical Agrarian Reform, and that is not what I am going to talk about" said João Pedro Stédile, referring to the model of agrarian reform that was carried out since the 19th century in some capitalist countries, such as Germany and in the United States. These agrarian reform processes were under the political direction of the  industrial bourgeoisie which needed to enlarge the consumer market and to establish supplies of primary materials for industry.

Read more: Brazil : Democratization of the state and...

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