News from the regions

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:

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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

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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.

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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.)

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SADC: Building unity and solidarity to effect a system change

Via Campesina, Rural Women Assembly, People's Dialogue and WoMin

elizabeth.jpgBulawayo, 14 August 2014- Women from all the corners of the Southern African region descended on Bulawayo to participate in a parallel of the SADC Heads of State Summit, the People Summit, which runs from the 14th to the 16th. They have converged to share their experiences on how they have been affected either by decisions made by governments with little consultations with the people or the inherited colonial agro-mining complex, which continues to grab land for extractive purposes. More importantly, the women have gathered to build and strengthen their solidarity, forge strong alliances and commit to the struggle to push for a system of change.

Today, on the first day, the meeting was energized with a mystica, singing and a drama depicting both the challenges faced by most rural women (evictions from land, loss of livelihoods etc) and the victory that comes with unity of purpose and solidarity.

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Farmers, rural women and mining impacted communities at the 2014 SADC People´s Summit to propose people-based regionalism

Media Advisory for immediate release

Via Campesina, Rural Women Assembly, People´s Dialogue and WoMin

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_logo_via-mediaadvisory.jpgHarare, 08 August 2014 – Hundreds of people from grassroots organizations, including small-scale farmers, rural women, farm workers and members of mining impacted communities from Southern African countries will be at the 2014 SADC Peoples Summit. The summit takes place in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe from 14 to 16 August, 2014. Members of Via Campesina Africa, the Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA), WoMin and the People’s Dialogue will be strongly present in Bulawayo, to build alternatives and propose a regionalism that prioritizes people, not corporations.

Caravans of African farmers, rural women and mining impacted communities from Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Lesotho, the DRC, Malawi and other countries will unite with Zimbabwean organisations and movements in Bulawayo to demand social and economic justice, based on the people´s perspectives.

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Brazil : CNBB discusses and approves an important document about Brazilian agrarian question.

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_CNBBbrazil.jpg(Aparecida do Norte, May 10, 2014) Between 30 April 2014 and 9 May 2014, Catholic bishops across Brazil gathered for the annual General Assembly of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB), in Aparecida (SP). At the meeting, a significant document on the country’s agrarian question was analyzed, discussed and approved.

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