Revival of the mass struggle for land and agrarian reform in South Africa



Media invitation

The Landless Peoples Movement which is the organization of people who have borne the brunt of apartheid, forced removals from the fields and homes, noted that since the election of democratic government two decades ago, less had been done to overhaul land and agrarian reform in South Africa.

To date: Poverty on rural areas has increased dramatically and conditions of farm workers are day-by-day becoming worse than ever.

Fewer hectares that are redistributed are not answers to our food production since they are unproductive, no water, no fencing, broken windmills and they are poisoned by excess use of chemical fertilizers.

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Conférence internationale: « Stop Land Grabbing » 17th - 20th November 2011 in Nyeleni/Mali

The earth, the water and natural resources which should be inalienable common goods are at stake in world economic issues. The way they are currently distributed and managed is a threat to the future of peoples, our alimentation and the planet.

Over 45 million hectares are already the object of transactions either final or ongoing, most often in the utmost opacity and regardless of farmers communities, cattle farmers, fishermen and indigenous populations. Africa itself is being dispossessed of 30 millions when food insecurity is rife. Social cohesion, food sovereignty acted by some african countries and even the State sovereignty itself is being questionned: over 10 million hectares in Mozambique, 300 000 hectares in between hands of a sole indian investor in Ethiopia and over 750 000 ha in Mali...

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La Via Campesina opposes land grabbing at the UN Committee on Food Security

During the week of July 11-15, 2011, members of La Via Campesina will participate in the United Nations Committee on World Food Security negotiations on the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests that are taking place at the FAO headquarters in Rome. La Via Campesina is part of the broader Civil Society Mechanism which has recently been included as participants in the Committee on World Food Security along with FAO member states, international institutions as well as the private sector. These are the final negotiations of the guidelines which are expected to be adopted by the CFS in October. The guidelines cover issues of land tenure, reform and redistribution, as well as markets and investment which all have serious impacts for peasants, small farmers, rural and indigenous peoples worldwide.

La Via Campesina welcomes this opportunity to participate in the process of negotiating the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests and we reaffirm our commitment to strengthen this process so that the Guidelines provide a clear framework for the protection of peasants, small holder family farmers and communities that live and work on the land, as well as the protection of land rights and the protection of all people against land grabbing.

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1st Encounter of Agroecology Trainers in Africa Region 1 of La Via Campesina

12-20 June 2011

Shashe Declaration

We are 47 people from 22 organizations in 18 countries (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Central African Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Portugal, USA, France, and Germany).We are farmers and staff representing member organizations of La Via Campesina, along with allies from other farmer organizations and networks, NGOs, academics, researchers, interpreters and others.

We have been meeting at the Shashe Endogenous Development Training Centre in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe to plan how to promote agroecology in our Region (Southern, Eastern & Central Africa). Here we have been privileged to witness firsthand the successful combination of agrarian reform with organic farming and agroecology carried out by local small holder farming families.In what were once large cattle ranches owned by three large farmers who owned 800 head of cattle and produced no grain or anything else, there are now more than 365 small holder peasant farming families with more than 3,400 head of cattle, who also produce a yearly average of 1 to 2 tonnes of grain per family plus vegetables and other products, in many cases using agroecological methods and local peasant seeds.This experience strengthens our commitment to and belief in agroecology and agrarian reform as fundamental pillars in the construction of Food Sovereignty.

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