Europe: Innovation and research in agriculture: priority to sustainable family farming

(Brussels, 6 March 2012) Agro-ecology or agro-fuels? Sustainable family farming or sustainable intensification? Farmers seeds or GM seeds? Pastures or dairy factories? Local plant protein or soy? Soil organic matter or methanization? Rotation or monoculture? Land races or cloning? A reduced food chain or import/export? Social innovation or farmers disappearing? Solidarity or competitiveness? Territorial cohesion or concentration of production ? To stop dumping or to "feed" the world? Public funding for public or private research? "Bio"-economy? The EU must choose.

In February, the European Commission has published a strategy/action plan for the "bio"-economy  and a communication  for a "European Partnership for Innovation (PEI): agricultural productivity and sustainability." A conference is organized by the Commission on March 7 on innovation and research in agriculture.

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Asian farmers visit and learn from Karnataka’s farmers about natural farming

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Karnataka: Fifty farmers of La Via Campesina movements from Asia visited some of Karnataka's most outstanding natural farms from Nov 2 to 6 2011. This event was organized by LVC and KRRS as part of their efforts to carry out farmer to farmer exchanges of knowledge of agro-ecology practices to "feed the world and cool the planet" as well as for farmers movements to share their best knowledge experiences with each other in solidarity.

The international delegation included twenty farmers and social movement activists from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea and Mexico. There were also many south Indian farmers present in the delegation.

During the four days journey, the group explored coconut, arecanut and banana farms, as well as vegetable plots, a sericulture field, a paddy seed bank and a jaggery production site. Some farmers were practicing natural farming for more than 15 years, while others had just started. Also a variety of natural farming methods were explored - from Fukuoaka's method to Palekar's zero budget natural farming. All farms were situated around the Mysore area, in South Karnataka. They were all successful examples showing that natural farming can and ought to be actively promoted as one of the many sustainable and accessible alternatives to conventional and organic farming. Furthermore, farmers organizations should play a strong role in creating platforms for exchanging practices and knowledge which is one of the best ways of spreading sustainable farming practices.

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Africa Region 2: Declaration of the Via Campesina training on agro-ecology

We are more than thirty (30) small holder farming women and men , working on land and sea , coming from 7 farmer organizations of the Africa 2 region of la VIA CAMPESINA, representing millions of peasant families and Moza of bique, from Sri Lanka and Mexico. Hosted by ECASARD in Techiman in Ghana from September the 5th to 11th 2011 for a political training on agro-ecology, we have come together to re-state:

  • Our commitment to defend the family farming based on agro-ecology and food sovereignty
  • Our right to keep up-holding our own identity, our cognitions and secular practices as farming men and women in perfect harmony with our environment which is both natural and societal
  • Our conviction that the agro-ecology locally adopted practices , are applicable everywhere by respecting the eco-system and are the key to cool the planet and grant a future to the next generations
  • Our opposition to the « false solutions » : the agro-fuels , the GMO and any mutant plants , carbon credit , the REDD+ because agro-ecology is the only healthy and sustainable alternative
  • Our perseverance of fighting against the seizure of the multinationals over the living, their speculative willingness to develop only cash crops in our countries that is killing the family and crop farming, and this, with most of the time in complicity with of our states, elites, donors , and some NGOs.
  • Our force to stop any land grabbing and to engage in land reforms in favor of to the family farming.
  • Our capacity already underway with millions of farming women and men through organizations of LA VIA CAMPESINA to put agro-ecology practices at human services
  • Our willingness to strengthen and develop an agro-ecological and food sovereignty network

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Agroecology Meeting in Ghana from the 5th to the 11th of September, 2011

La Via Campesina Africa 2 Region

The strength of La VIA CAMPESINA is the richness of knowledge, convictions and visions of the peasant and small-scale farming world. In the framework of food sovereignty which  La VIA CAMPESINA has developed since  1996,  agroecology  is a key alternative to the neo-liberalism system that is destroy  the smallholder farmer’s way of life, even though for  centuries peasant farmers have fed the world, continue to do so toady, and will in the future. The alternative of agroecological peasant farming has been supported by a number of United Nations bodies like the FAO and   by Olivier de Shutter, the UN Special Reporter on the Right to Food. In fact, the main cause of hunger today, and of the impoverished of small-holder farmers, is the industrial farming system promoted by a handful of corporations and financial speculators. This dominant model is destroying the land, impoverishing farmers, and failing to adequately feed the world. The number of people suffering from hunger keeps growing even though there is sufficient food and even wasted and spoiled food. It is access to food that is causing problems, due to private sector speculation with food inventories that place food prices beyond the reach of poor consumers.

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