- Published on Monday, 11 July 2016 20:19
Popular University of Social Movements gathers in Harare: social movements and academics to dialogue on the state of land, seeds and food in SADC
(Harare, July 11, 2016) – Over the past 15 years, Zimbabwe's fast track land reform programme has redressed colonial land inequalities and now provides lessons for its neighbours on how to democratise land ownership and broaden economic participation. From July 12-15, various social movements and academics from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Ghana, Spain and Portugal will gather in Zimbabwe's capital, Harare to discuss and debate the state of land, seeds, food, climate and people in Southern Africa. The event is being held under the banner/auspices of Portugal's Popular University of Social Movements, known by its Portuguese acronym, UPMS.
Social movements have powerfully influenced Zimbabwe's land reform, and movements' role in pressuring governments for land reform is today more important than ever. The Southern African region's food deficit has risen in the past five years due to limited agricultural support by the state and climate linked weather vagaries. Land investments and changes to seed laws and the growing impacts of climate change are also shaping regional food security.
- Published on Friday, 08 July 2016 12:33
Five members representing La Via Campesina, attended the Agroecology Learning Exchanges in Uganda, held between 10-13 May 2016. This meeting was organized by the Agroecology Fund and Alliance for Food Sovereignty (ASFA) in Africa in Masaka, Uganda and was hosted by St Jude Family projects.
In a series of interactions and presentations to facilitate an understanding of the different efforts by various groups to scale up agroecology, representatives of LVC spoke about the emphasis given to setting up of Agroecology schools; details about the Mali Agroecology Forum to articulate what agroecology is and what it is not; details of actions resisting industrial agriculture; efforts to defend agroecology from co-optation; details about research and publication of successful cases within LVC and many instances of successful collaboration with allies such as ETC and Grain.
- Published on Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:58
At least 60 farmers, mostly from the neighboring indigenous Soliga community, as well as other small farmers including some urban origin farmers gathered for a farmer-to-farmer training session on millets at the Amrita Bhoomi agroecology center, on 2nd July 2016.
Amrita Bhoomi is linked to the Karnataka State Farmers’ Movement (KRRS for its initials in Kannada language) and is La Via Campesina’s agroecology school in South Asia.
Successful millet growers, both young and old came to share their experiences and answer questions. This was followed by millet seed distribution to the trainees. Grameena Kutumba, a group that promotes millets and organizes direct farmer to consumer markets, co-organized this training session. They committed to follow up with a farmer to consumer fair early next year to allow trainees at this session to directly sell their produce to consumers.
- Published on Tuesday, 05 July 2016 15:15
July 4, 2016 - In advance of the annual conference of Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Agriculture Ministers to be held in Calgary, July 20-22, 2016, the National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a letter to each of the ministers with input regarding the next agriculture policy framework. In it, the NFU provides recommendations for both the Business Risk Management (BRM) programs and the Strategic Investment programs. The text of the letter is reproduced below:
The next FPT agriculture policy framework will be an important tool for shaping the future of farming in Canada. The NFU advocates for maintaining the family farm as the primary food producing unit in Canada. As a general farm organization, our membership reflects the diversity of production systems, farm sizes and farmer demographics across the country. We promote food sovereignty, which is a holistic approach that puts people, food and nature in the centre of the policy picture, and that makes democratic control of the food system its priority. Numerous surveys and opinion polls indicate that non-farming Canadians generally share these values with us and support policy that enables farmers to obtain fair returns from producing wholesome food in an environmentally friendly way. We encourage you and your fellow ministers to use the lens of food sovereignty when assessing the implications of each element being considered for the successor to Growing Forward 2.