- 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.
- 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.
- Published on Monday, 27 February 2017 12:55
By Jan Slomp,
President, National Farmers Union
Since Donald Trump took office as President of the United States, a shocking list of executive orders is making people around the world uneasy about unpredictable days ahead. Democracy and civil liberties are in peril. It is reasonable for Canadian and European officials to respond with concern to Trump's aberrations. But it appears that, fearing the uncertainty, they have rushed to ratify CETA.
The deal offers the language of prosperity and progress, but in reality, accelerates income inequality and grassroots unrest. Both Canadian and European politicians fail to understand that decades of free trade-like policies have deprived too many US citizens of their economic sustenance and thereby helped to elect Donald Trump.
- Published on Friday, 24 February 2017 17:30
15 February 2015 - San Salvador: The International Women’s Articulation of La Via Campesina, gathered in San Salvador, El Salvador, with the participation of women representatives from the Americas, Europe, Africa and North Africa, hereby issues the following statement following the unfair decision of the Israeli forces to prevent comrade Meriam Ismael from leaving Palestine, thus depriving her of her natural and legal right to travel freely to San Salvador, El Salvador, in order to participate in the International meeting of La Via Campesina's Women’s Articulation: