Pakistan: Peasant organisations pledge to push back against Industrial Farming

The Pakistan Kissan Rabta Committee (PKRC) on Sunday vowed to lead the fight against industrial farming practice advocated by multinationals across Pakistan. The members of the committee pledged to aggressively promote and adopt “natural sustainable crop production”.

After a two-day national convention, “Building a Peasant Movement in Pakistan” held in Lahore, the PKRC elected a new Coordination Committee and inducted new member organisations. The two days meeting was chaired by a panel of Nazli Javed, Mian Mohammed Ashraf and Tariq Mahmood.

The meeting was attended by 21 peasant and food producer organisations from across Pakistan, while a number of organisations were unable to attend. The new organising committee of the PKRC will include the Anjuman Mazaareen Punjab (Okara and Lahore), Akhuwat-e-Kissan Pakistan, Anjuman Kashtkaraan (Khyber Pakthunkhwa), Kissan Karkela (KP), Khoj, Crofter Foundation, Pedaver, Sawera Foundation, Hari Poriat Tanzeem (Sindh), Tameer-e-Nau Women’s Workers Organisation, Kissan Akath (Rajanpur), Haqooq-e-Khalq Movement, Agrarian Collective, Dastak, Khushaali, Aisaar, Sanjh, Milli Zameen Zada, Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum and Alfalah Welfare Organisation FATA.

The forum criticised the dominant mode of agriculture that was sold to farmers during the Green Revolution. Speaking at the forum, MiN Asif Sharif of Pedaver and Nusrat Habib of Khoj Foundation agreed that corporate interests had been the main reason for advocating a system of farming that spreads poison and destroys nature. Instead, the PKRC will struggle for creating a natural system of farming, based on rebuilding the natural composition of the soil, which rejects the use of corporate seeds, pesticides and fertilizers.

The PKRC vowed to renew the struggle for land reform, market reform, moving towards natural farming and oppose corporate farming. The meeting also expressed solidarity with the struggle of the Anjuman Mazareen Punjab and called for the release of its leadership, including AMP leader Mehr Abdul Sattar. It called for the recognition of the land rights of the tenants of the Okara Military Farms.

The PKRC also calls on peasants to participate in Climate Strike being organising on September 20 across Pakistan, noting that Pakistan’s farmers have been amongst the most affected by extreme weather patterns, including floods, unpredictable rainfall and changing weather patterns.

Those who spoke on the occasion include Dr Ammar Ali Jan, Hshaim Bin Rashid, Farooq Tariq, Muhsin Abdali and others.