La Via Campesina | e-Newsletter | Feb 2017
- Published on Friday, 17 March 2017 11:36
The February edition of our newsletter is out! It celebrates the struggle of women in La Via Campesina and gives a snapshot of the mobilisations that took place around International Women's Day on March 8. Th current edition also carries news from the regions, where La Via Campesina continued to resist bilateral and free trade agreements and continued to speak for peasants' rights to use, save and exchange seeds freely. A paper on Agroecology that was produced as part of a self-study process within the movement, in addition to a few videos and podcasts are also availble to the readers in this edition. Here is the link to the newsletter. Hoping that you like it and will share widely. Globalise the struggle, Globalise hope!
FTAs and Agriculture: New Edition of Nyeleni Newsletter is out!
- Published on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:06
Edition no: 29 of Nyeleni Newsletter is now online.
There is growing distrust and mobilisation against Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). FTAs hurt food sovereignty because they:
- Erase the possibility of public strategies supporting local markets.
- Lower or remove tariffs on imported goods, hurting local small-scale food producers who cannot compete with large subsidised agribusiness imports.
- Harmonise standards on food safety, pesticides, GMOs and animal welfare benefitting corporations : the imposed lowest standards protect their profit margins.
- Rewrite patent laws, requiring countries to privatise plants and animals; criminalise peasants who save and exchange seeds and breeds thus damaging biodiverse food systems.
- Require that foreign investors be treated better than domestic ones, gaining more access to land and water, and powerful rights to defend themselves through investor-state arbitration that is fundamentally anti-democratic.
FTAs aren’t just about ‘trade’. They’re comprehensive agreements to lock in free market capitalism, strengthen the power of global corporations, finance, and powerful governments, and advance their geopolitical objectives. There are direct links between FTAs, climate change, ecological devastation, and violations of Indigenous Peoples’, workers’ and farmers’ rights. Trump’s election and Brexit partly reflected public outrage at free market economics – but channelled support for exclusionary, divisive racist nationalism. We must struggle for real systemic change, saying “no to FTAs and global free market capitalism”, combatting racist politics and defending mother earth.
We can’t turn FTAs into tools of people power. They should be buried, not born again.
Credits for the edition: bilaterals.org and GRAIN
Front page illustration: Anthony Freda | www.AnthonyFreda.com
Taking agroecology to scale: the Zero Budget Natural Farming peasant movement in Karnataka, India
- Published on Monday, 27 February 2017 14:10
In order to have a clearer understanding of the main factors behind how peasant movements scale up agroecology, LVC is carrying out self-studies directed at systematizing successful scaling-up experiences protagonized by peasant movements.
This paper, produced as part of the self-study process, specifically examines Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF), a grassroots peasant agroecology movement in Karnataka, India.
ZBNF ends reliance on purchased inputs and loans for farming, positioning itself as a solution to extreme indebtedness and suicides among Indian farmers. The ZBNF movement has achieved massive scale not only because of effective farming practices, but because of a social movement dynamic – motivating members through discourse, mobilizing resources from allies, self-organized pedagogical activities, charismatic and local leadership, and generating a spirit of volunteerism among its members.
Karnataka is a southwestern state in India. Nearly 56 percent of the workforce in Karnataka is engaged in agriculture and related activities. Agriculture in Karnataka is dependent on the monsoon, and drought has become frequent. The main crops grown in the state are rice, millet, maize, pulses, oilseeds, cashews, coconut, arecanut, cardamom, chilies, cotton, sugarcane, tobacco, coffee and silk.
ZBNF falls under a larger tradition of farming in India, called natural farming. There are teachers from other parts of India who promote similar principles but not at the same scale. Most have some combination of Gandhian principles, the Japanese natural farmer Fukuoka’s teachings of ‘do-nothing’ farming, and traditional farming methods. ZBNF first came to Karnataka when a senior farmer leader from Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) came across Palekar in the neighboring state of Maharashtra in 2002. He invited Palekar to Karnataka and organized a couple of workshops through KRRS. After an encouraging response from farmers, KRRS started to promote ZNBF through its organization, becoming the medium through which ZBNF first spread across the state, mirroring the experience of CaC in Central America and Cuba. The presence of such social networks, KRRS leaders argue, made Karnataka a receptive arena for the initial success of ZBNF.
Visit the Journal of Peasant Studies to access the full version of the paper.
Publication: Transgenic Crops – hazards and uncertainties
- Published on Monday, 27 February 2017 13:30
For the fifth consecutive year, Brazil is considered as being the second largest producer of transgenic plants of the world, after the United States. The area for this type of culture already exceeded 40 million of hectares in our country.
The continuous increase of the area planted with transgenic soy, maize and cotton varieties, and the successive commercial release of new genetically modified organisms (GMOs), with combined alterated genes now, indicate the importance of monitoring their possible impacts to the environment, in general, and the human health, in particular.
With this respect, the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA) bring to the public this work which provides subsides to the qualification of risk evaluation processes associated to the growth of transgenic crops and to the consumption of their products and derivatives. The publication, intended to risk managers, researches, professionals from the biological, legal, economic and other areas, as well as to the other individuals interested on the subject, results from the Group of Agrobiodiversity Studies (GEA).
The extensive systematization work contained in this book gather references of scientific articles that are available for consultation via Internet, scientific publications or databank websites. The presented references correspond to studies published by independent researchers in magazines and indexed journals. Most of the articles can be accessed for free reading and download.
In more than 750 indications of texts from renowned research institutes established in several regions of the planet, scientists warn about the hazards and uncertainties involved in the massive environmental release of transgenic plants. By evidencing and documenting the absence of scientific consensus with respect to the transgenics impacts to the people’s health and to the social-ecological.
Transgenic Crops - hazards and uncertainties biodiversity, this book brings vast elements for the evaluation of problems resulting from the adoption of this type of biotechnology. The information here gathered reinforce the urgent need for critical analyses of the current agricultural and agrarian development model, opening the discussion for the search for alternatives for the rural environment and livelihood.
La Via Campesina | e-Newsletter | New Year Edition 2017
- Published on Friday, 03 February 2017 12:06
The New Year edition of our newsletter is out! As we move forward into another year of unified struggles and resistance, this newsletter remembers our dear comrade Kathy Ozer and her valuable contrubtions in organising small farmers. Promising to keep up the fight she taught us, we bring to you through this edition a glimpse of Via Campesina struggles worldwide and celebrates the unwavering resolve of small farmers and peasants who are members of the movement, in bringing about food sovereignty. Here is the link to the newsletter. Hoping that you like it and will share widely. Globalise the struggle, Globalise hope!
Dairy and Poultry in India—Growing Corporate Concentration, Losing Game for Small Producers
- Published on Wednesday, 21 December 2016 15:03
This case study prepared by Ashelsha Khadse was part of a report What's at Steak, published by Global Forest Coalition at the 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Cancun, Mexico from 4-17 December 2017.
Despite India’s booming success in cooperative models of production, especially the dairy cooperative movement that turned it from a milk deficient country to the world’s highest milk producer, there is a growing push towards free trade, privatization and hyper competitiveness.
Such a race to the bottom is changing production models towards more resource-intensive, high-yielding styles of production, and the majority of our farmers—comprising mostly landless, marginal to small ones—are finding it increasingly hard to maintain and keep milch animals as they have traditionally done.
Agroecology at a crossroads
- Published on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:16
Agroecology has become a territory in dispute.
While mainstream institutions and corporations for years have marginalized and ridiculed agroecology, today they are trying to capture it. They want to take what is useful to them – the technical part – and use it to fine tune industrial agriculture, while conforming to the monoculture model and to the dominance of capital and corporations in structures of power.
Social movements, on the other hand, use agroecology to challenge existing power structures, to resist the multiple attacks on our Mother Earth, and as a tool for the social, economic, cultural, political and ecological transformation of communities and territories.
Their agroecology is merely technical, our agroecology is political.
Comic book: Together we can cool the planet!
- Published on Tuesday, 13 December 2016 16:54
La Vía Campesina, GRAIN
Based on the video Together we can cool the planet! co-produced by La Vía Campesina and GRAIN in 2015, we have created a comic book to support training activities of social movements and civil society organisations around climate change. This comic book looks at how the industrial food system impacts our climate and also explains what we can do to change course and start cooling the planet.
La Via Campesina and GRAIN have pointed out that the industrial food system is responsible for half of all greenhouse gas emissions. In the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa, we have been denouncing the false solutions to climate change such as GMOs, the “green economy” and "climate-smart agriculture".
We say loud and clear: it is peasants and small farmers, along with consumers who choose agroecological products from local markets, who hold the solution to the climate crisis.
We must all rise to the challenge! Click here to download the comic book in pdf format.
Cooling the Planet | Frontline Communities lead the struggle
- Published on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 12:05
A new Hands on the Land publication highlights how communities of small scale food producers are increasingly confronted by the grabbing of natural resources and systematic violations of human rights.
Small-scale food producers and consumers, including peasants, indigenous peoples, hunters and gatherers, family farmers, rural workers, herders and pastoralists, fisherfolk and urban people – the frontline communities – are increasingly confronted by the grabbing of natural resources and systematic violations of human rights. Already pushed to the fringe, frontline communities additionally face the increasingly frequent natural disasters and impacts of climate destruction that are caused by the climate change – and the inability of governments to agree to real solutions.
La Via Campesina | e-Newsletter | October, 2016
- Published on Thursday, 10 November 2016 10:41
This edition of the newsletter carries news about the Nyeleni Forum in Eurpoe and the recently concluded negotiations in Geneva calling for a Binding Treaty to hold Transnational corporations accountable for human rights violations. The newsletter is also coming out at a time when the illegitimate government in Brazil is cracking down on social movements and have their police forces invade MST's schools. Condemnations and statements on that front are also part of this newsletter. The Monsanto Tribunal in Hague and news from our allies in Asia are also featured in this editionr. Here is the link to the newsletter. Hope you enjoy reading it and please do share it widely. Globalise the struggle! Globalise hope!