- Published on Wednesday, 23 July 2014 17:04
(Zimbabwe, Harare, July 18, 2014) ZIMSOFF organized a preparatory meeting on the 2nd of June to discuss the implications of the new regional seed policies, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Africa Regional Intellectual Organisation (ARIPO) namely the seed policy harmonization and Plant Variety Protection (PVP), on the smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe. Sixteen ZIMSOFF Council members (who also are farmers) and representatives from the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) and Third World network (TWN) participated in the discussions aimed at building the capacity of the smallholder farmers to understand and defend their seed rights nationally.
The proposed regional seed policies, if adopted, will negatively impact on indigenous seeds which ZIMSOFF and La via Campesina promote. The COMESA seed protocol will open national borders through easing market and regulatory requirements on registered commercial seeds; while the SADC and ARIPO will promote the “commercial breeders’ rights” through Plant Variety Protection based on “DUS” (Distinctiveness, Uniformity, Stability). In general, the former, will flood both the regional and local markets with hybrid and genetic modified (GM) seeds and thus push out traditional seeds, the latter, recognizes and promotes commercial breeders and criminalize traditional breeders, who are peasant farmers. The ZIMSOFF Chairperson and La Via Campesina General Coordinator, Elizabeth Mpofu, in her opening remarks, urged the farmers to take these new developments seriously and hold the government accountable.
- Published on Friday, 18 July 2014 15:16
La Via Campesina
International Peasant Movement
La Via Campesina International -representing around 200 million farmers from 73 different countries around the world- condemns the Israeli war on Gaza and the crimes against the Palestinians that violate the international and humanitarian laws.
Since July 7th 2014, 214 Palestinians were killed, including at least 164 civilians of whom44 were children and 29 women. 1,585 Palestinians were injured of whom 435 are children and 282 are women. 1,660 homes were destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza directly displacing 9,900 persons. 22,600 were displaced people hosted at UNRWA schools. 900,000 people are without water supply due to inability to repair and operate infrastructure.
- Published on Thursday, 17 July 2014 14:25
(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.
- Published on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 16:26
Subject: Invitation to observe and monitor the forced relocation of villagers and demolishment of the villagers’ properties in Noan Dingdaeng District, Buriram Province
Attention: Mass media, the academic, human rights activists and justice minded people
The Provincial Internal Security Operation Office of Buriram Province carried out an operation to solve the encroachment of Dong Yai Forest area following the National Peace and Order Maintaining Council (NPOMC) Order No. 64/2557 and the NPOMC Order No. 66/2557 by a joint operation team comprising of officers from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, the Royal Forestry Department, administrative officers, the Public Relations unit of the Provincial Internal Security Operation Office of Buriram and police from Noan Dindaeng District Police Station.
The operation team entered the area and did the public relations operation asking the encroachers to voluntarily leave the area. It laid out the following plan:
1. July 1-7, 2014: to inform the encroachers to leave the area voluntarily.
2. July 3, 2014: to call on leaders of every encroacher group and make them understand the stipulated measures.
3. The screening of encroachers based on specified qualifications in order to provide help according to conditions and criteria is to be finished by 7 July 2014.