- Published on Monday, 02 November 2015 17:37
(Bangalore, India, October 31, 2015) On the 28th of October, the International Seminar on Peasant Struggle in India was held at Samvada in Bangalore, India, organized by La Via Campesina South Asia. This seminar kicked off a ten-day Zero Budget Natural Farming seminar and training, which would continue from October 30th- November 5th at Amritha Bhoomi (LVC Agroecology school). It brought together activists from across the globe. Bharatiya Kisan Union (India), MONLAR (Sri Lanka), ANPFA (Nepal), Bangladesh Krishok Federation (Bangladesh), Black Sea Uprising (Turkey), SPI (Indonesia), Assembly of the Poor (Thailand), ZIMSOFF (Zimbabwe), MVIWATA (Tanzania), MST (Brazil), and Boricuá (Puerto Rico) were all represented.
The program kicked off with an interactive learning exercise that introduced participants to the lives of farmers in India today. Participants were grouped into “families” of three or four people, who were then given a slip of paper with their family details. One family’s members were powerful landlords with many acres and a lot of money in savings, another family consisted of landless laborers with very little income, and another family’s members were shopkeepers who owned no land but had monthly income from their business.
- Published on Monday, 02 November 2015 17:27
Press release: The milk crises of 2015 – a dialogue of farmers’ movements October 21, 2015
(Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, October 22, 2015) Farmer leaders from the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), Food Sovereignty Alliance (FSA), Karnataka Rajya Ryatha Sangha (KRRS), South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (SICCFM), Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers’ Movements (ICCFM), Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam and the Tamil Nadu Women’s Collective, participated in a dialogue on the ongoing milk crises confronting small and marginal dairy farmers across India. The Food Sovereignty Alliance (FSA) convened this dialogue in Chennai, on October 21, 2015, to chalk out a collective strategy to protect the livelihoods of small and marginal dairy farmers and people’s milk markets (commonly referred to as the “informal” or “unorganised” dairy sector).
A price war is raging between dairy processors (cooperatives and private companies) of the organised dairy sector, to sell milk to consumers at extremely low prices in urban centres. This has been accompanied by a steep reduction in milk procurement prices paid to farmers by dairy processors and the volume of milk procured by them. The current procurement prices, are far below the production costs incurred by farmers, thus driving them into ever deepening debt. Small and marginal farmers, whose livelihoods depend on selling milk and who are the backbone of the milk market, have been hardest hit. This has also severely affected the people’s milk markets.
- Published on Thursday, 29 October 2015 19:52
(UK, October 28, 2015) From 24th – 26th September, 250 delegates – including 2 from The Landworkers’ Alliance – from over 20 countries in 4 continents gathered in the south of France for a conference organised by the French Peasant Seed network, Reseau Semences Paysanne.
RSP was started in 2000 at the time that the first crop of GM maize was grown in France and as peasant farmers were losing their legal rights to grow and sell their non-industrial seeds. RSP was launched because they faced a situation where peasant farmers and citizens needed to organise themselves effectively or face losing their seeds, and the country face losing access to non-industrial, unpoisoned food. 15 years later, 80 organisations are working under the RSP umbrella and they are achieving a great deal.
- Published on Thursday, 29 October 2015 18:16
(Turkey, October 29, 2015) We peasants are the ones who watch over a plant as it comes into leaf and grows tall; who plant seeds, seedlings and saplings in the earth; who are filled with joy when we observe their healthy progress; who lose sleep when they fall sick; who care for our animals like our children.
Yet now, we are losing sleep over events in the Middle East and Turkey, we are following developments with great concern. Why? Because war strikes small farmers first. Peasants are being forced to abandon their villages and land. Peasant families are not only losing their land, but also their lives, and they are being forced to migrate. Forests are now being destroyed, the water is being polluted and nature faces ruin.
Each new dawn brings more news of massacres. News of massacres in Turkey have been added to the already devastating news of massacres in Syria and Iraq.