African Farmers meet in Zimbabwe to give more strength to the struggle for seeds sovereignty

Media Advisory - La Via Campesina


Harare, 06 November 2013 – More than 40 farmers from several African countries, members of La Via Campesina, together with allies, will meet in Zimbabwe on 12-14 November 2013, to discuss the threats posed to smallholder farmers’ seed systems on the continent. In particular, it will discuss the changes to African seed laws, and responses to such threats. The seminar will be hosted by the Zimbabwe Organic Smallholder Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF),an organisation member of La Via Campesina.

This conference will take place just a few weeks after the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) formalized an agreement for cooperation with La Via Campesina, acknowledging the essential role played by smallholder food producers in the world, including African small-scale farmers.

Read more: African Farmers meet in Zimbabwe to give more...

International Conference on Land and Seeds: Peasants of Mozambique United in Struggle in Defense of Land and Peasant Agriculture

UNAC Press Release


(See the moments of the Conference in pictures...)

Maputo, October 14, 2013 – The National Union of Peasants (União Nacional de Camponeses , UNAC), a member group of La Via Campesina, organized through unions and zonal nuclei, districts, and provinces throughout the county, holds the Second International Conference on Land, in Maputo on October 15 and 16, 2013.

It is expected that more than 200 people representing Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Sweden, and Switzerland will participate in this Second Conference, among them more than 130 peasant members and leaders of the peasant movement, men, women and youth from associations, cooperatives, district and provincial unions and peasant communities from more than 120 districts from all provinces of the country.

Read more: International Conference on Land and Seeds:...

INDIA: Bihar's agroecological farmers host international farmers' delegation


Earlier this year, when Sumant Kumar and his 4 friends, all young farmers from the Nalanda region in Bihar, made headlines for breaking the world records in rice and potato production without using any chemicals, herbicides or GM seeds, it inspired farmers across the world. Through the global network of peasants' movements called La Via Campesina, farmers in the state of Karnataka in southern India got a call from Brazilian farmers, asking if they could go see this unbelievable feat together.

The Brazilian farmers from the Landless Peoples' Movement (MST) represented one of the largest organic rice production cooperatives in the world, but hadn't come close to the 22.4 tons/ha yield obtained by Kumar, which defeated even the Chinese world record holder and “father of rice,” Y Longping.

Read more: INDIA: Bihar's agroecological farmers host...

Building a peasant revolution in Africa


The recent debate around the 2012 National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill in Uganda and the Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) it promotes elevated issues related to food access across the country. Although the bill was tabled in Parliament earlier this year, Ugandan peasants and small farmers still have reason to worry that control of their land and its resources could quickly slip further away—especially if they are not tightly organised.

The push for GMOs and corporate control of agriculture is certainly not unique to Uganda, let alone Africa. Patented seeds, land grabs, and dumping of staple food products have been routine over the past few decades—forming the structure of a transnational economic system that favours profit over rural people and their right to a sustainable livelihood.

Read more: Building a peasant revolution in Africa

Additional information