News from the regions

Crofters gather to discuss Brexit implications

2017-02-14 SCF Logo.jpegCROFTING'S PLACE in Europe will be the theme of the Scottish Crofting Federation 2017 Annual Gathering, being held on March 10 and 11 in Applecross, Wester Ross.

The event aims to set a crofting agenda for the upcoming Brexit negotiations and a post-Brexit agricultural policy that is fit for crofting.

“The importance of the topic is reflected in the attendance of two members of the Scottish Government's Cabinet,” said SCF chair Russell Smith.

“On Friday the Cabinet Secretary responsible for crofting, Fergus Ewing MSP, will officially open the gathering with an address placing crofting in the context of Scotland’s rural development.

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Condemnation of the murder of Suleiman Hammad, Palestinian farmer

961821595217-02-09_02-06-57.pngLa Vía Campesina strongly condemns the brutal and intentional murder of our comrade Suleiman Hammad, an 85-year-old Palestinian farmer who on February 8th, 2017 was run over by an Israeli settler, while walking to work on his land near Al-Khader Village, south of Bethlehem. 

We send our condolences and solidarity to his family and our sister organization, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) of Palestine. 

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Urgent Appeal: By Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), Palestine

7th February, 2017

6de9232e1786d6a55e06da4d3e697976.jpgDear Brothers and Sisters in La Via Campasina, 

Israel’s parliament passed a law to legalize West Bank settlement spots[1] built unlawfully on Palestinian land classified as area "C" according to Oslo agreement in 1993, which constitutes 62% from the West Bank's lands and under the Israeli full control.  

This law would allow the Israeli occupation to authorize thousands of Israeli settlements units, and 53 Israeli spots, as well as, to confiscate 8,000 dunums from privately owned Palestinian lands. Moreover, this law will open the space for further confiscations of the private Palestinian lands without any restrictions as long as the aim from these confiscations is more settlement expansion.

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Kathy Ozer: A Fighter for Family Farmers

2017-02-01 Kathy.jpgAlmost everyone in the country involved with family farmer issues knew Kathy Ozer. We also knew that she had been sick for a while and thought she was getting better. On January 22, the cancer – non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – finally took her from us. She was 58 years old.

Reflecting upon this loss, however, we state emphatically that her legacy and contributions are immense. Her commitment to establish a better and healthy life in America’s rural communities, both socially and economically, will continue to resonate throughout the country and the world.

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Demonetisation in India: Farmers' Groups write an open letter to the Prime Minister

b_350_0_16777215_00_http___media.indiatimes.in_media_content_2016_Dec_cf267b4a-826e-45f9-bfcc-d2d371e28bef_1480574426.jpgSeveral farmers' groups in India have written a joint letter to the Prime Minister of India, highlighting the severe distress that exists in the countryside after the Indian Government withdrew nearly 86% of the currency in circulation overnight, in a supposed crackdown on corruption and 'black economy'.

Three months since the decision to partially demonetise all bills worth 1000 INR and replace all bills worth 500 INR, the move  has been widely criticised by economists of all leanings as chaotic and unwarranted. India is a predominantly cash-based economy. The government's drive to turn India into a cashless society,one where digital banking and plastic transactions would become the norm, has taken much of the rural society by surprise where digital infrastructure necessary to facilitate such a transition is barely existent.

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Promote Peasant Agroecology as an alternative to migration: LVC in Dhaka

La Via Campesina South Asia - Peasants for Food Sovereignty

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_2016-12-28-dhaka_group.jpgDhaka, Bangladesh. December 2016.

La Via Campesina International Working Collective on Migration and Waged Workers represented the concerns of small farmers, indigenous people, landless workers, women and youth at the People's Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights. The People's Global Action is a parallel event to the 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development, and took place 5th December to the 8th of December. Hosted by the Bangladesh Agricultural Farm Workers' Federation (BAFLF) , the group of 31 delegates participated in the PGA process especially on issues connecting migration to climate change and peasant agroecology. Following the PGA, the delegation was hosted on a field visit by BAFLF.

On the 5th of December, Abdul Majeed (President of BAFLF), Nasrin Sultana (NWFA), Omoli Kisku (Bangladesh Adviasi Samiti) and Asma Begum (Bangladesh Krishok Federation) attended the Asia Civil Society meeting. They presented the situation of coastal Bangladeshi communities, rural farm workers and small holder farmers who are facing the brunt of the climate crisis.

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Removal of Import Duty on Wheat will destroy North Indian Farmers: warns Bharatiya Kisan Union

NEW DELHI: Farm leaders from Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and outer Delhi attended a meeting organized by Bharatiya Kisan Union (a member of La Via Campesina) at the Punjab Bhavan in New Delhi and laid forth their concerns about crumbling rural agriculture and their immediate demands to address this. 

Ajmer Singh Lakhoval, State President of BKU (Punjab), blamed the ill-conceived policies of the government that has turned India into a dumping yard of cheap agricultural imports. As a result of cheap dumping, Indian small farmers are not receiving a fair price for their produce and are forced to sell at a fraction of their actual cost, he said. The pressure of debt is piling up on Indian farmers forcing them to commit suicide. The most recent decision to remove import duty on wheat is just another example of complete disregard for India’s small farmers, he added. He went onto say that this decision, taken at a time when farmers have more or less completed their sowing, is cruel and anti-people and will lead to distress sale during harvest.

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