The Peasant Movement Defines its Position on the Climate and Food Crises in the Region

Peasant Assembly of the Coordination of Latin American Rural Organizations and La VíaCampesina in Central America (CLOC-LVC-CA)

CLOC%20LC%20CLIMATE.JPGThe member organizations of CLOC-Via Campesina Central America, from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, are together in assembly in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, this August 31st and September 1st, 2014. After carrying out consideration and analysis of the grave situation in the Central American countryside and the peasant movement in the region, we reach out to the Central American public, the governments of the region and the international community with the following conclusions:

1. The effect of climate change and the lack of preventive measures by the neoliberal governments in the last 20 years have combined to aggravate the food and climate crises in the entire Central American region, to such a degree that today we face a near-total loss of the first harvest of the year due to a severe drought.  More than three million peasant families currently face insolvency and a complete inability to attempt a second harvest—without seeds, credit, or water.  The immediate effects of this crisis are malnutrition, accelerated migration, and massive increases of school dropouts, as well as food hoarding and speculation by the private sector. Meanwhile,the main responseby government has been to increase the imports of basic grains—leading to historic profits by importers and the destruction of national farm economies—as well as the rushed approval of new seed laws that fling open the doors to genetically engineered crops, gravely threatening our native seeds. The absence of public sector strategies for building food sovereignty means, in effect, that Central American governments have abandoned the possibility of supporting peasant production, public credit, technical assistance and farm diversification. In the case of coffee, the coffee rust epidemic has arrived in the context of governments that abandon small farmers to their fate, thus multiplying their suffering and leading to greater unemployment and malnutrition among rural workers.

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Mozambique: Peasants showcase their Agro-ecological Products at the Country’s Largest Fair

unac-facim.jpgMarracuene, 25 August 2014 - Mozambique’s International Trade Fair (FACIM) started this Monday and will go on for the whole week. It has attracted many local companies and international companies and corporations too, to explore opportunities for new investments and businesses in the country. Besides the overwhelming presence of large-scale economic interests seeking new business opportunities, there are also peasant organisations at FACIM. UNAC (Mozambique’s Peasants’ National Union) and other peasant organisations have ‘stands’ placed at the CEPAGRI pavilion (Centro de Promoção da Agricultura), together with the Ministry of Agriculture and other several groups promoting national agricultural products and livestock, organic crops, as well as agricultural equipment and technology.

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US and EU Free Trade Agreement is recipe for trouble

TTIP harms the interests of European farmers and citizens in favor of boosting profits for international corporations

FTA%202014%20TIPP.jpgProponents of the free trade agreement between the US and EU have denounced the opposition of TTIP as dogmatic (FD, June 10th). But our opposition is not based on chagrin, but on witnessing the real-life impacts of other similar agreements on our food, environment and social well-being. 

TTIP was launched to the sounds of cheering and applause, with its advocates promising that the agreement could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions of euros in extra income. But, the European Commission’s own research undertaken by the think tank Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), has shown that the predicted additional GDP growth per year with the free trade agreement will be very low (0.05%). Furthermore, the hundreds of thousands promised new jobs are far from guaranteed.

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Via Campesina at the colloquium “Food Sovereignty : a critical dialogue”

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_foodsovereigntyfao_elizabeththehaguescaled.jpg(The Hague, 24 January 2014) A fundamentally contested concept, food sovereignty has — as a political project and campaign, an alternative, a social movement, and an analytical framework — barged into global agrarian discourse over the last two decades. Since then, it has inspired and mobilized diverse publics: workers, scholars and public intellectuals, farmers and peasant movements, NGOs and human rights activists in the North and global South.

Last January 24, various representatives of La Via Campesina took part in a colloquium organized in The Hague to discuss the concept of Food sovereignty. Elisabeth Mopfu, as general coordinator of La Via Campesina was invited to give a speech at this Yale Conference on Food Sovereignty attended by many academics, researchers and specialists, from universities around the world.

You can read the speech of Elisabeth Mopfu here.

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