Sustainable Peasant's Agriculture

Speech by La Via Campesina delegation in the closing ceremony of International Year of Family Farming, Manila, Philippines

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_IYFF_6_Manila_2014.jpg27th November, 2014

Dear Madam/ Chair and respected dignitaries

I take the floor on behalf of La Via Campesina, the world’s largest movement of family farmers, Indigenous people, fisher folks and small scale food producers. All over the world peasants, small scale producers continue to grow and distribute healthy food in their communities and feeding the world. They are indeed the family farmers that feed over 75% of the world population. And it is very important that the International Year of family farming allowed us to increase the attention to this important and crucial sector.

This is in stark contrast to the commercial food industry, whose priorities are profit and speculation and whose strategy is to make agriculture increasingly dependent on agro-toxics and inputs controlled by the corporates, increasing their profits through the sale of toxic chemicals and inputs which is responsible for the destruction of natural resources and peasant based food production and family farming.

Read more: Speech by La Via Campesina delegation in the...

Nutrition is not for profit: Second International Conference on Nutrition

(Rome November 20th, 2014)

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_foodsov_nutrition-rome.jpgLa Via Campesina and URGENCI, jointly with other Social movements, gathered in Rome for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2), where Member States of FAO and WHO are discussing and adopting a framework for action on nutrition. This event, organised jointly by FAO and WHO, is happening 22 years after the first ICN, 22 years in which no improvements have been made by the international community; 22 years in which the private sector has captured nutrition as a business opportunity to provide a never-ending list of  “nutrient-enriched” and GMO pseudo-solutions to consumers. Transnational corporations have no place in trade agreements or our food systems!

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Shashe Smallholder Farmer Organisation (SFO): a true centre of agro-ecology

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_manure_for_agroecology_2014.JPG(Zimbabwe, Masvingo, October 20, 2014) Zimbabwe Small Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) represents smallholder farmers practicing organic agriculture in Zimbabwe, a practice promoted through participatory ecological land use planning and management, and encourages value addition to uplift the welfare of members. The organization has about 19,000 smallholder farmers organized in four clusters, namely the western, eastern, northern and central. These clusters are made up of 64 Smallholder Farmer Organizations (SFOs) which nurture dynamic alliances. Shashe SFO, where the Agroecology School is located, is under the central cluster. Shashe farmers are beneficiaries of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme implemented by the Government of Zimbabwe in 2000. They are part of the 380 official land beneficiaries resettled in 2000 at the Shashe block of farms, which covers about 15,020 hectares. Of this area, about 23% was allocated for residential and arable purposes, the rest is grazing. The area is generally dry, receiving about 400mm of annual rainfall, and has deep soils (sandy loams, red clays and a mixture of the two). It was mainly used for ranching by the former white farmers. The new farmers have broadened the land use as they are now producing both crops and livestock

At Shashe farmers employ various agroecological practices to ensure food sovereignty, mitigate climate change effects and reduce dependence on bought-in agro-inputs thus retaining farm income within the family’s purse. These practices include the use of organic manure, mulching, minimum tillage, multiple cropping, exchange and use of traditional seeds and open pollinated varieties, among others.

Read more: Shashe Smallholder Farmer Organisation (SFO): a...

The future of family farming is in our hands

ecologist%20pic%202014.jpgHolly Creighton-Hird (Original article posted on www.theecologist.org)

19th October 2014

Family farming is a hot topic this year. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. And last week, family farming was the focus of World Food Day 2014.

Of course there's is no guarantee that a family farm is well-run or sustainable. But the best farms - those that best preserve traditional food and culture, contribute to balanced and culturally appropriate diets, maintain agricultural biodiversity and use natural resources sustainably - tend to be family farms.

Read more: The future of family farming is in our hands

Mozambique: “Agroecological farming came to stay in Marracuene” — say the farmers

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_africa_agroecologia.jpgLVC Africa News 

(Mozambique, Maputo, July 11, 2014) – the adopted agroecological farming methods are there to stay among the farmers in Marracuene, south Mozambique, says the farmers from Alfredo Nhamitete’s farming Association, which is part of the National Farmers Union (União Nacional de Camponeses — UNAC). This resolve resulted from a knowledge exchange visit between the local farmers and the visiting members of Zimbabwe’s Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) and La Via Campesina, on July 9. 

The 280 association members produce different food crops such as yam, carrot, cabbage, onion, kale, beans, lettuce, eggplant, among others. Part of the produce is sold at the local market, and the earnings are equally shared among the members. “With that money I can send my children to school, and buy them school supplies”, said a woman farmer, and member of the association. 

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Haiti – Land, native seeds, environment – the path of Life

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agriculture_paysanne_durable_Photo_Haiti_2_paint.jpgWe, the members of CLOC-Via Campesina Haiti, accompanied by other CLOC-Via Campesina member organisations from several Latin American countries, have held a two day meeting, together with other Haitian Social Movement organisations from across the country, at the National Training Centre for Peasant Leaders in Papaye. The theme of our assembly was Tè, Semans Natif Natal, Anviwónman, se chemen lavi (Land, Native Seeds, Environment: The Path to Life).

Our reflections:

At the international level

We discussed the landgrabbing that is being carried out by the imperialist countries through the actions of their multinationals, particularly in Africa and Latin America. What we are witnessing is a real process of recolonisation. More than 50 million hectares have changed hands; more than 100 billion dollars US have already been spent on buying up land, and, in the bank accounts of more than 120 financial groups, more than 100 billion dollars are available for landgrabbing.

The land that has been grabbed is mainly intended for the production of agro-fuels and animal feed crops. More than 13 million hectares of forest land disappear each year. In South America, a hectare of the Amazonian forest disappears every second. In order to make more and more money, the multinationals are destroying the planet – and at the same time claiming to put forward solutions to the climate crisis. The medicine is killing the patient.

Read more: Haiti – Land, native seeds, environment – the...

La Vía Campesina’s position on the International Year of Family Farming - 2014

Press Release - La Vía Campesina

A space for the promotion of concrete policies on peasant family farming

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_LOGO_AIAF.png(Harare, 25 June 2014) La Vía Campesina defines participation in the International Year of Family Farming, propelled by the UN in 2014, as the creation of a space for discussion and collective action to push Food Sovereignty that has peasants and small farmers as a basis. All throughout the world they continue to grow and distribute healthy, self-produced food in their towns, in stark contrast to the commercial food industry, whose priorities are profit and speculation and whose strategy is to make agriculture increasingly dependent on agro-toxics, increasing their profits through the sale of herbicides, whilst damaging and contaminating natural resources.

We have witnessed a profound food crisis, which has brought attention to peasant based food production and the eradication of hunger within the UN’s agenda. The UN has recognised the crucial role that male and female peasants play in this arduous task.

Read more: La Vía Campesina’s position on the...

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