- Published on Monday, 16 January 2017 13:03
Writing love letters may seem like an unusual activity for a course on farming and agroecology. But, in this course, young farmer-students proposed to their imaginary partners in their letters, commenting on their realizations about gender. “I realized that we place so many conditions on women,” wrote one student. A key reflection of the entire course was that shifting to agroecology and sustainable agriculture isn’t just about a change in production models, its as much about changing the relationships we have--including between genders.
Indians, as is the case in many countries around the world, have unrealistic expectations of women, and this is especially evident in the marriage market – women should be light skinned, they should be conventionally attractive, they should be educated but be ready to turn into submissive housewives, they should uphold caste norms, they should know how to cook and clean, and on and on. Rarely do women have a say in any important decision concerning their own lives.
- Published on Friday, 13 January 2017 17:45
Brussels, January 12, 2017
The debate on the post-2020 CAP has started; the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Junker acknowledged the importance of a European Agricultural Policy, the European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan announced a reform under the banner of "modernization and simplification" and the forthcoming launch of a broad public consultation.
Today, the European Coordination Via Campesina will present the basis for its engagement in the debate for the future CAP, in order to set up an Agricultural and Food Policy that truly answers the needs of the European peoples and that shows the human and responsible face of Europe.
- Published on Monday, 09 January 2017 21:33
Several 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.
- Published on Thursday, 05 January 2017 17:00
January 2, 2017 (First published by The Dawn News)
From the solidarity group of Çiftçi-SEN / Turkey (Confederation of Small-Farmers’ Unions).
I was in Brazil to participate in the “International Encounter of Struggling Youth” as a Turkish delegate, which was held in Marica, Rio de Janeiro in June 2016. After the youth encounter, I had the chance to stay a couple of weeks in Brazil to visit some camps and settlements of the Agrarian Reform, some cooperatives and agroecology schools of MST.
This was a moment great importance to discover, because MST was putting very much importance both on the theoretical and practical sides of agroecology. MST consider agroecology as a way of life, a way connecting to the society, as well as a struggle against agribusiness and the ongoing coup process put in forward by the neoliberal Temer government (1). This means that agroecology is not only a method of farming, but also a life vision, which is build up day by day in the camps and settlements, in the formal or informal agroecology schools, in political formation of the militants. In other words, each space of MST is based on the formation of agroecology, as a political paradigm against the transnational agribusiness hegemony over agriculture and food systems.