La Via Campesina holds a global conference of its Agroecology Schools and Training Processes in Cuba.
“We, in the Via Campesina, affirm that the main actors in agroecology are the people – campesinxs, peasants, indigenous peoples, pastoralists and herders, fisher folk – who are those who strengthen Food Sovereignty and Peasant Agriculture in the face of the capitalist assault on the countryside.” said Rilma Roman, member if the Coordinating Committee of LVC and the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP) in CUBA. The National Association of Small Farmers, (ANAP), is the host organization of the global conference that is being held between the 27th and the 30th of May, 2018 in Güira de Melena, Cuba.
The Niceto Pérez National Peasant School, where the event is taking place, will receive about 100 delegates from member organizations of La Via Campesina from Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Asia. These delegates will bring important knowledge and experience and also from exchanges in the varied regions with the objective being to build common lines of work that will invigorate the process of developing a global political training model focused on agroecology. Before this activity the LVC Collective on Agroecology, Seeds and Bio-diversity held a theoretical and technical training course, involving both theory and practice on agroecology, that included filed visits to agroecological farms where the “Campesinx to Campesinx” methodology developed by the ANAP in the provinces of Artemisa y Mayabeque.
For the Via Campesina the urgency to develop agroecological training processes began around 2003, as a result of the alarming assault of agribusiness and its model of intensive agriculture based on monocultures with the intensive use of toxic agricultural chemical inputs, that even today, continues to threatens to decimate peasant agriculture and life on the planet.
“Given this crisis scenario, this global conference is very important, because me must reaffirm Agroecology as the cornerstone of Peasant Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, that must be made part of the debate about building a social project, and a countryside that we want to see with full peoples’ sovereignty”, commented Itelvina Massioli of the Landless Workers Movement of Brazil and a member of the South American Training Collective .
Today the IALAS (Institutos Latinoamericanos de Agroecología) schools in the Americas, the Shashe Agroecology School in Africa , the Amrithi Bhoomi Agroecology School in South Asia, la European Network of Agroecological Learning Exchanges are examples of some of the many experiences within La Vía Campesina, and they are the fruit of the collective efforts our organizations that have helped to recover the creativity, the dialogue of knowledge, the historical ancestral knowledge and wisdom as well as the innovations in the countryside that constitute the peoples’ to struggle against and resist capital and its agribusinesses.
During these three days our discussions will be focused on highlighting the challenges faced by the peasant movement in the current context, one in which we see the plunder of common goods, capitalist domination, the advancement of imperialism in our territories, and the oppression that the worlds people suffer. In this context this global event will also strengthen our solidarity, our internationalism, reinforcing La Via Campesina in all of the continents, invigorating the collective working groups for training in all regions, highlighting the fundamentally important role of women and youth in this process. At the same time, we will seek time and space in our agenda to work on planning actions to advance the struggle to defend our peasant seeds, because they are at the heart of agroecology and food sovereignty.