- Published on Wednesday, 23 December 2015 00:40
- Published on Friday, 18 December 2015 16:47
(Nairobi, December 17, 2015) Chamarasa Mali Patil of Karnataka Rajya Ryata Sangh (KRRS) and K. Sellamuthu, president of Thamizhaqa Vivasayigal Sangam, peasant delegates from India shared how under WTO peasants have suffered. Indian peasant communities have been destroyed as a result of cheap imports of oilseeds and rice.
Rakesh Tikait from Bhartiya Kissan Union (India) said that WTO and the opening up of agricultural markets to imports have affected India’s food sovereignty. The country was able to feed itself before food imports surged due to tariff reduction. As a result of the increased agricultural imports which lower local prices many India peasant farmers committed suicides as they could settle mounting debts. Over 300,000 farmers have committed suicides since the inception of WTO.
- Published on Friday, 18 December 2015 15:58
(Nairobi, December 17, 2015) Under capitalism production is not for consumption but for trade to make profits. Countries particularly the developing ones are being forced to open their borders and markets to cheap and low quality agricultural commodities from countries such as the US, China, EU, Brazil etc. All this is done to grow profits for big corporations. Everywhere WTO promotes dumping of heavily subsidised mass produced farm produce among other products from developed countries. Even countries such as South Korea and Kenya which produce adequate good quality rice and sugar respectively are forced take imports of these agricultural products.
According to Ha Won-Oh and Kim Soon-Ae, the delegates from the Korean Peasant League and Korean Women Peasants Association South Korea, because of rice imports, Korean farmers are being destroyed as imports cause low prices resulting in low incomes; the countryside is being deserted too. The youth are leaving the farms in search for better pay in urban areas. Elderly folk left on the farms. The debt owed by these farmers has doubled. Corporations such as Cargill stand to benefit as more farmers are destroyed in future. For now Korea has surplus rice. Cheap rice imports mean big foreign rice producers are being sustained while local producers are being destroyed.
- Published on Friday, 18 December 2015 13:58
Afsar Jafri, Focus on the Global South
(Nairobi, 17th December 2015) The MC10 facilitator for Agriculture, together with the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture in Special Session, issued a draft text on Agriculture early this morning on Thursday calling it a good faith attempt to identify compromise outcomes across three issues that have been quite contentious in the past few months, and as in the Seattle and Bali Ministerial Conferences, are potential deal breakers. These issues are: Public Stockholding for Food Security Purposes, Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM) and Export Competition.
As expected, the latest draft issued by the facilitator does not represent the developing countries’ demands and concerns in these areas, and instead represents developed countries’ interest only. This is a big disappointment and we expect that developing countries will soon confront this unofficial attempt by the facilitator to float this draft, a day before the conclusion of Mc10 on 18th December.