Solidarity with Struggle for Land in Shimoga, Karnataka: "We will fight unto death!"

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_Shimoga2.jpgBy Aditi Pinto

Thursday, 5 June 2014

In the foothills of the Western Ghats, in the villages of Badanehaalu, Bandigudda, Belligere, and Udaynagara in Shimoga district, Karnataka, small farmer and pastoralist families constantly struggle for land against the Forest Department. These families have lived here for over 70 years, each farming small plots of 0.5 – 3 acres along with doing other wage labour to fill their stomach. Most families did not have document proof, and were labelled bagar hukum or “without permission” cultivators.

One year ago, in March 2013, The Forest Department deployed JCB and Hitachi bulldozers to dig trenches, clear fields and remove all signs of cultivation. The bulldozers were confronted with a band of 25 women villagers, marching up to challenge them. When asked what motivated her to go fight the machines, one woman told me: “Seeing our farms being cleared, I had an image of poison running through the bodies of my children!” Download article here

 

Hungry for Land. Small farmers feed the world- with less than a quarter of all farmland

GRAIN/La Via Campesina media release

Kenya_Maasia-pastoralists-preparing-maize-harvest-Narok_AmiVitaleFAO.pngGovernments and international agencies frequently boast that small farmers control the largest share of the world's agricultural land. When the director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation inaugurated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, he sang the praises of family farmers but didn't once mention the need for land reform. Instead, he announced that family farms already manage most of the world's farmland a whopping 70%, according to his team.

But a new review of the data carried out by GRAIN reveals that the opposite is true. Small farms, which produce most of the world's food, are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world's farmland – or less than one fifth if you leave out China and India.

Read more: Hungry for Land. Small farmers feed the world-...

Philippines : The government’s failure to redistribute land to the rural poor.

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_philippinesfarmers.jpg(Manila, March 12, 2014) Up to 300 farmers from five northern provinces descended on Manila on Wednesday to mark the start of Lent with a rally to protest against the government’s failure to redistribute hundreds of thousands of hectares of land to the rural poor.

Labeling themselves the “calvary of peasants,” the protesters symbolized their hardship by carrying crosses to the offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City.

“Small farmers have been systematically neglected,” said protest leader Jaime Tadeo.

Read more: Philippines : The government’s failure to...

Declaration of Agadir

b_350_0_16777215_00___images_stories_agrarianreform_LVC_Maroc_MEeting_Josiescaled.jpg(Agadir, March 15, 2014) We, union organisations, peasant movements and social movements:

-The National Federation for the Agricultural Sector: Morocco (FNSA)/Moroccan Workers’ Union (UMT)

- National Union of Inshore and Deep Sea Fishermen: Morocco (SNMPCM)

- The French Peasants Confederation

- Palestinian Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)

- The Senegalese National Council for Rural Cooperation and Coordination (CNCR)

- ATTAC/CADTM Morocco

- The Association of Rural Women and the Fight for Land Association: Tunisia

Met as part of the international peasant movement VIA CAMPESINA at Agadir on the 13th, 14th and 15th March 2014, under the slogan : “For the land and the sovereignty of our peoples! In solidarity and in struggle!”

Read more: Declaration of Agadir

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