Thursday, July 25, 2013

LVC VIth Global Conference - Jakarta, Indonesia - June 2013

Nandini and Raja Reega from South India
accept a gift from the Indonesian hosts at
the Women's Assembly Mistica
Sanjay, Balram and Pramesh from ANPFA in
the seat of honor as we rode to
the village field trip!















The South Asian delegation at the VIth Global Conference in Jakarta, Indonesia was over thirty members strong. Representing North/South India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, the participants attended the Youth Assembly, Women's Assembly, and International Assembly, taking on a role in producing the three documents you find below. These documents are the outcome of hundreds of wo/man-hours and thoughtful contemplation on the future of the Via Campesina movement for the next four years.


  Declarations

The Venue and Assembly Hall


The Jakarta Call

Women of Via Campesina International Manifesto

Declaration of the 3rd International Youth Assembly of the Via Campesina 





From The Jakarta Call -- 
"We are building new relationships between human beings and nature based on solidarity, cooperation and complementarity. At the heart of our struggle is an ethic of life. La Vía Campesina is committed to giving visibility to all of the local struggles around the world, ensuring that these are understood from international perspectives and integrated into a global movement for food sovereignty, social change and self-determination for the peoples of the world. We call on our organisations, allies, friends, and all those committed to a better future to reject the ‘green economy’ and build food sovereignty...."

From the Women's Manifesto -- "Our biggest step towards ending injustice in the world is taken by breaking the poverty cycle and granting the rightful place that we peasants have to provide and guarantee sufficient and balanced food for the peoples, recognizing the central role of women in food production..."


And, From the Youth Declaration, the commitments put forward for the future in full ---

We demand that states and governments recognise, comply with and regulate food sovereignty in the constitutions of all countries as a basic human right. We also demand that the organisations and authorities that are involved and have responsibility take the following action:

  • Put food sovereignty into practice by implementing holistic agrarian reform, and broad-based agroecological reform in the area of fishing and silviculture, to ensure equal access to natural goods for young people, particularly young women.
  • End land grabbing and conversion in the name of development following the “Green Economy" model of agricultural food production, and production of bio fuels and monocultures that are structural causes of climate change and the energy crisis.
  • Protect and promote traditional seeds and the knowledge and wisdom of our peasant communities.
  • Promote a model that favours people, led by peasants and in accordance with the agroecological and indigenous model.
  • Ensure market access for poor and marginalised people and a fair price for their products, keeping the WTO out of agriculture.
  • Ensure that young people have access to a secure future, both in rural and urban areas, also promoting sustainable job opportunities for young people to reduce migration to urban areas.
  • Stop criminalisation of protest, repression of social movements, murder and extermination of young peasants, while respecting human rights and those who defend them. They must also condemn militarisation, which is worsening living conditions for the poor in our regions, and establish an education system that supports young people who want to be peasants.
  • Dedicate a greater proportion of the budget to agricultural sectors to support young people in production, and education and access to technology in rural areas.
  • Provide a space for representation of young people in leadership and create a suitable environment to empower and support them, so they can show that young people can bring about change in agriculture.
In addition to these demands, we also make the following commitments: 

  • We will create solidarity between regions that put alternative models into practice in opposition to the neoliberal model, in accordance with the principles of complementarity and cooperation to overcome social inequality.
  • We will set up an accessible political group for young people and practical people’s education on peasant and ecological agriculture.
  • We will promote communication between young people from different organisations and creation and strengthening of people’s alternative communication networks that will be political, creative and transformative.
  • We will strengthen the coordination of young people’s activities at a regional and global level.
  • Political participation and training for young people in organisations and genuine prominence.
  • We will coordinate political, social and cultural alliances and relations between young people from rural and urban areas around the world for social change and transformation.
  • We will create and strengthen spaces for political and technical training in the area of agroecological production and local markets with social justice.
  • We will show solidarity with all peoples who are involved in resistance and struggles for their right to life and their freedom anywhere in the world.

    Photo Albums

    WOMEN'S ASSEMBLY

    YOUTH ASSEMBLY

    INTERNATIONAL ASSEMBLY

    FIELD TRIP

     

  • Tamil Translation Central
Asma, Patka, and Bisawnath from Bangladesh
with Pablo from UK in background

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chukki Nanjundaswamy of KRRS proposed to chair Karnataka Agricultural Price Commission

KRRS farmers leader Chukki Nanjundaswamy's name has been proposed for the First Chairperson of "Karnataka Agriculture Price Commission" Constituted by Govt of Karnataka.
According to Chennai Online on June 12:
The Karnataka Government will establish Agriculture Price Commission to fix suitable prices for agriculture produces in the state, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who also holds Finance portfolio, informed the Legislative Assembly today. Presenting the State Budget for 2013-14, his maiden budget after Congress came to power after a gap of eight years, he said, "Farmers are always facing problems due to indeterminate prices for their produce. Most of the times they do not even get the costs incurred hence the establishment of the Commission to fix suitable prices." He said the Commission would consist of farmers, agriculture experts and agro-economist. The suitable prices would be fixed on the scientifically worked out recommendations of the Commission.
From Kannada news channel Suvarna:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rice Day celebrated in Nepal

National Peasants' Day (cum Paddy Day) Celebrated in Nepal

Asar 15 following the Nepali calendar is known in Nepal as the rice/paddy day and farmers celebrate this Ropai (rice plantation) festival planting paddy seedling and enjoying flattened rice with yogurt. All Nepal Peasant Federation (ANPFa) also celebrate this day as National Peasants Day organizing paddy seedling program. A grand opening program was organized in Seti Devi VDC-6 in Kathmandu where chairperson of ANPFa, Com. Bamdev Gautam was the chief guest and Leaders Prem Dangal and Balram Banskota; national committee members Ghanshyam Pandey, Jalpa Bhusal and Jiwati Poudel were among few important personalities present in the program. Peasants especially the local young women and men, media persons, ANPFa cadres, students and NGOs person were also present in large numbers to take part in the paddy seedling program, observe and celebrate the National Peasants' Day. Similar programs were organized in various places of the country. Com Keshab Lal Shrestha and Hari Parajuli were guest in the program organized in Narayangadh and com. Sharada Subedi was present in Pokhara.

This day has been recognized by government as national paddy day and the government of Nepal also organizes program where ministers and high ranking government officers attend the paddy seedling program. Govt. of Nepal has considered Ashar 15 as National Paddy Day from 2004 and this year it marked its 10th Anniversary but ANPFa has been celebrating this occasion since a long.

 
ANPFa chairperson inaugurated the program in Kathmandu handing over the rice seedling to the women peasants. In his inaugural speech, he shared that, 'agriculture is the backbone of Nepal and rice is the staple crop. Not only in Nepal but also in other Asian countries, the rice is our culture and basis of life. Therefore to ensure right to food and food sovereignty, we need to fight against all threats that destroy the rice fields and displace the farmers. We should defend our culture and territories.' Mr. Gautam who is also the former deputy Prime Minister and chair of the national peasant coalition of Nepal ( and the farmers forum) highlighting the ANPFa struggle to pressurize the government for peasant friendly policy and program said that government has positive response to increase the budget in agriculture.  In this occasion, the Chairperson also informed about nationwide campaign of ANPFa to save local varieties of rice and conserve rice culture. ANPFa has been also launching a campaign against land grabbing in South Asia to stop grabbing and conversion fertile land- he informed. The participants in the program also enjoyed eating beaten rice and curd (Dahi-Chiura) and singing folk songs ('Ashare Bhaka'/Ropai song)  which is also integral part of this festival of peasant.

June 29, 2013
Balkhu, Kathmandu