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News from the regions

GM Free Coalition Warns GEAC Against GM Mustard Commercialisation

La Via Campesina South Asia

Coalition For A GM Free India

Press Release

(India, New Delhi, June 17, 2015): “Bt Brinal then, GM Mustard now – will GEAC repeat the mistake of thrusting Genetically Modified food onto our plates? We will strongly oppose any attempt to approve commercialization of GM mustard,” warned the Coalition for GM Free India. The Coalition while releasing a Briefing Paper on Delhi University’s GM mustard at a press conference in the capital reminded the GM regulator about the flood of concerns that rocked the entire country when Bt Brinjal, the first GM food crop that was approved by the regulator and later had to be put under an indefinite moratorium by the government during 2009-10.  GM mustard is the first genetically engineered food crop being considered for commercial approval by GEAC since the Bt Brinjal fiasco.

Read more: GM Free Coalition Warns GEAC Against GM Mustard...

Sri Lanka: Implement the Glyphosate Herbicide ban immediately! - National Movement Against Poisons

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La Via Campesina South Asia

(Sri Lanka, June 14, 2015) The National Movement Against Poisons (NMAP) demanded the government of Sri Lanka to immediately implement the ban on Glyphosate, at a news conference held today at Center for Society and Religious. NMAP is a coalition that includes MONLAR, an LVC member.

The co-convener of the movement, Ven. Mahamankadawala Piyarathane Nayaka thero raised concerns over the implementation of the decision of the president Mithreepala Sirisena to immediately ban the importation and use of Glyphosate chemical weedicide island wide as there are concrete evidences of the chemical still available in the market behind the scene. He also stresses out that the powerful agribusiness mafia is trying to overturn the decisions of the president that was taken for the sake of farmers, consumers and future generations of the country that has been already affected with various unknown diseases including chronic kidney disease epidemic. "Number of scientists who had been paid by the agro-business giants who make billions of annual profits by selling poisons and risking the life of all living forms are trying to mislead the masses and discredit the president's decisions claiming that the decision had been taken over on the popular myths but not on the scientific bases. They are also trying to develop consent among the people saying that there is no direct link between Glyphosate and Kidney disease or any other disease. But there are numerous scientific evidences available throughout the world about the adverse effects of Glyphosate on health and environment. The funniest thing is, though these scientists are trying to free the companies from the complaints by conducting various researches in favor of the companies, they never try to figure out any solution to the problem of the people.

Read more: Sri Lanka: Implement the Glyphosate Herbicide...

Final declaration of the 6th Congress of CLOC Via Campesina

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_newsfromregions_foto_declaracion.jpgOn the International Day of Peasant Struggles and after a march through Buenos Aires streets from the US Embassy, an imperialistic symbol, to the Argentinean Rural Association, a symbol of agribusiness in the country, the organizers shared the final statement of the 6th Congress of the Latin American Coordination of Countryside Organizations (CLOC-Via Campesina) which you can read below. The document is a result of eight days of debates and was read by representatives of the Youth Assembly of CLOC.

"Each person shines with his or her own light. No two flames are alike. There are big flames and little flames, flames of every color. Some people’s flames are so still they don’t even flicker in the wind, while others have wild flames that fill the air with sparks. Some foolish flames neither burn nor shed light, but others blaze with life so fiercely that you can’t look at them without blinking, and if you approach you shine in the fire".

Read more: Final declaration of the 6th Congress of CLOC...

India: Planned Massive Demonstration on 18 March

La Via Campesina South Asia - Farmers Angry with NDA Government Policies on Agriculture-Planned a Massive Demonstration on: BKU

Press Release: 24th January 2015 (India, New Delhi)

The farmers unions affiliated with the All India Coordination Committee of Farmers Movement (AICCFM) met for 2 days at the Punjab Bhawan in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Shri Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President Bhartiya Kissan Union, Punjab. During this meeting, the farmers’ leaders from 12 farmers unions intensely discussed the current burning issues in Indian agriculture which included, the Land Acquisition Act Ordinance, NDA government U-Turn in the WTO, the recent report of the Shanta Kumar High Level Committee for restructuring FCI, and others. The meeting started with a 2 minutes silence to mourn suicide by hundreds of farmers during the current NDA government regime. The farmer suicides in India are continuing despite many promises by the Narendra Modi before the election that he would work for the Indian farmers. However after becoming Prime Minister, he expressed no concern for agrarian crisis and continuing farmer suicides. During NDA Government since May 2014, more than 7000 farmers have committed suicide. During this 2 days meeting, farmers leaders focussed on some key issues which are of great concern and they made the following demands to the NDA government to express their frustration with this government agrarian policies. These are:

Read more: India: Planned Massive Demonstration on 18 March

Another successful caravan for climate justice, this time across South Asia!

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_gazipur_2014.jpgThe South Asian Climate Justice, Gender Justice, and Food Sovereignty Caravan was organized in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal between 10 and 24 November, 2014. This year’s caravan informed and mobilized vulnerable peasant populations in order to respond to the threats of climate change, and to further develop international solidarity networks concerning climate change, gender and food sovereignty. It also addressed some of the other key issues in Bangladesh-India-Nepal agriculture sector like seed banks and energy alternatives.

The Caravan was hosted by the Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Bangladesh Kisani Sabha (in Bangladesh), the Bharatiya Kisan Union, IMSE (in India), and the All Nepal Peasant Federation and All Nepal Women’s Association (in Nepal).  It moved in the following way: Bangladesh- 6 locations from November 10 - 16, 2014

Read more: Another successful caravan for climate justice,...

Portugal: Invitation to a joint Press Conference of the CNA and the Via Campesina International

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Coimbra, November 18th, 2014

At Casa Diocesana Seminário de Vilar, suite 318, Porto, November 20th, 2014

By invitation of the Confederação Nacional da Agricultura (CNA), Portugal will host a series of meetings and events of the Via Campesina International from the 18th to the 28th of November. This organization is now considered to be the largest movement of small farmers worldwide as well as one of the largest global social movements overall.

The Via Campesina, of which the CNA is a member, is comprised of 164 local and national organizations in 73 countries from Africa to Asia, Europe and the Americas. It represents approximately 200 million farmers around the globe and is understood to be a principal actor in the food and agriculture debate. It is recognized and listened to by institutions such as the FAO and the UN Human Rights Council.

Read more: Portugal: Invitation to a joint Press...

The Role of Agroecology in the fight for Food Sovereignty

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_agroecology_new_photo.JPGBy KS Nandini Jayaram, 6 November 2014

LVC South Asia

If the world’s 500 million small farmholding families adopt the agroecological (AE) system, it can transform the food system, bring profit to farmers and nutritious food to consumers, and mitigate climate change. In many developing countries agroecology is spreading, and at the same time in developed countries farmers are shifting to agroecology. In September 2014, I attended a two-day symposium at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as part of the International Year of Family Farming. This meeting focused on the role of agroecology in feeding the planet, and I went as a representative of La Via Campesina, the International Peasants’ Movement. I myself am a natural farmer based in Mandya, Karnataka, India. It is impressive to see an organization which has promoted industrial and conventional farming take a turn towards agroecology. Millions of small farmers support an agroecological food system, why can’t the FAO? And it is high time for the change.

In the past 20 years, life has become increasingly hard for peasants and the poor (as well as for members of other species.)

Read more: The Role of Agroecology in the fight for Food...

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