African farmers unite against Transnational Corporations

Venue: Caritas, Malhangalene, Maputo City

Maputo, Mozambique, 20 February 2015 – We, more than 40 farmers and members of civil society, women and men, from Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Ivory Coast, met in Maputo, Mozambique, from 17 to 20 February 2015 to discuss the state of Transnational Corporations and how they harm our livelihoods as farmers and farm workers.

We have learned how Transnational Corporations are harmful to human dignity and how destructive they are to Mother Earth. We are aware of the intention that corporates have to eliminate the peasantry in Africa in favor of industrial agriculture that promotes intensive and monoculture-based agriculture to produce crops for export.

As members of the International Peasant´s Movement, La Via Campesina, we are articulated in solidarity with more than 1 million farmers worldwide that like us have the responsibility to feed our people. We have the right to continue being peasants and family farmers. We care for seeds, which are life, and for us the act of producing food is an act of love.  African people depend on us, and we refuse to disappear.

We refuse to be turned into agricultural workers for corporations. We are proud to be farmers. Our knowledge is valuable, our traditional seeds are essential to humanity and our continent is not for sale!

We demand change in public policy that defends small-scale farmers in our countries since they are the only sector that will guarantee food sovereignty and solve the food crisis that affects our nations and Africa in general.

We demand the dismantling of the corporate power in Africa.

We therefore demand to our governments to:

  • Take Corporations to justice when they are not respectful to our national laws. The state of impunity must end urgently.
  • Stop industrial farming that promotes pollution and climate change through high levels of use of petroleum based chemicals.

While we make legitimate and urgent demands on our governments to seriously address land grabbing and expel TNCs from our land, we pledge to continue to build agroecology and Food Sovereignty from below.  We will take the following practical steps:

  • Resist TNCs taking our land
  • Demand to Land and Seed laws that clearly defend the peasant’s rights and peasant agriculture
  • Demand to Governments that must adhere to 10% of their budget to peasants as Maputo Agreement
  • Prepare a document explaining clearly how the survival of farmers at national and regional level depends on our refusal to open the door to transnational corporations.

Globalize the Struggle!  Globalize Hope!

Maputo, 20 February 2015