- Published on Wednesday, 21 October 2009 06:29
The SPI, as I mentioned below, has succeeded through struggle and unity in taking 1 million hectares of land from companies and government entities, much of it in fact reclaimed after it was stolen from peasant farmers during the years of the Suharto regime.
Now, like the Movimento dos Sem Terra in Brazil, they are working to convince peasant farmers to go organic. In July, I went from Jakarta to the coastal city of Padang, on the island of Sumatra, and from there to Nagari, where the SPI have an organic farming school. I did not have my trusty interpreter Adi with me on this trip, relying instead on Rustam, an SPI leader from nearby West Pasamant. A tall rangy fellow, with a square jaw and jokey manner, Rustam had participated in a lengthy and violent struggle there to reclaim land taken by a palm-oil company, one that resulted in the death of one Union member and the imprisonment of many others. His command of English, while eccentric and rather endearingly — if confusingly, at times – informal, was my path to communication with his Mingabau-speaking comrades.
- Published on Monday, 13 February 2006 07:00
Published at the occasion of the WSSD summit in Johannesburg 2002
World-wide, the prevailing neo-liberal economic system has been the primary cause of the increasing impoverishment and the displacement of farmers and rural peoples everywhere. It is responsible for the increasing degradation of nature, including the land, water, plants, animals and natural resources, having put all these vital resources under centralized systems of production, procurement and distribution within the frame of a global market oriented system. The international ’agrifood sector’ is largely controlled by transnational corporations and the governments that actively support or passively accept the market ideology as the principle on which to base all of agriculture.