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Farmers

Tanzanian Farmers Mobilize For Agroecology, Food Sovereignty And Pan-Africanism

Hundreds of smallholder farmers gathered in the city of Morogoro on November 17 and 18 for the 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania or the National Network of Small-Scale Farmers Groups in Tanzania (MVIWATA).  The organization was founded in 1993 by self-organized farmers in the wake of the country’s first Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) under the IMF and the World Bank between 1986 to 1989. The neoliberal reforms ushered in during this period marked an absolute departure from Tanzania’s centrally-planned economy under socialist president and leading anti-colonial figure Julius K. Nyerere. In 1967, Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration, committing Tanzania to the principles of socialism and self-reliance and paving the way for nationalization of key industries and the collectivization of agriculture. 

Mining Mafias Ruin Livelihoods Of Farmers And Pastorals, Spread Terror

In Kolawalpur village of Banda District (state of Uttar Pradesh), many farmers complained bitterly that the miners of river sand had destroyed their farms and standing crops. What is more, threat of floods in the rainy season and the river drying up in the dry season had increased due to the excessive extraction of sand from the river using heavy machines. Workers who were employed in sand mining had not been paid the wages due to them. In Mahawa and Bhirala villages of Sikar district (state of Rajasthan) the farmers and pastorals had been devastated by mining of stone and the use of dynamite for this. Water sources were drying up. Not just workers but even other villagers had fallen prey to stone dust related health problems including silicosis disease. After blasting work, stones were hurled here and there and could hurt anyone.

Dutch Farmer Protests Inspire More Actions Amid Food Shortages

Dutch farmers are blocking roads, airports and food distribution centers in an effort to shut their country down. These actions are in response to climate laws designed to lower nitrogen levels that will result in putting farms out of business and underscore why addressing the climate crisis requires a just transition for displaced workers. Farmers want the government to know that without farmers, there won't be food. The protests are now spreading to more countries. They are occurring as inflation hit double digits in June, especially for food and fuel, and food shortages are expected this fall.

Dutch Farmers Block Food Warehouses Over New Environmental Rules

Farmers in the Netherlands have blockaded supermarket distribution centers in continuing protests against new environmental rules on nitrogen emissions that are likely to put many of them out of business. Fishers on Monday blocked ports in a show of support for farmers. The blockade prevented ferries from sailing to almost all the Wadden Islands off the country’s northern coast and caused lengthy delays, shipping companies reported. Also on Monday, farmers used tractors and large bales of hay to block entrances to the supermarket distribution centers, as the association of food traders warned of supply bottlenecks.

It’s Not The Conflict In Ukraine, Our Food System Is Broken

Much attention is being given to the impacts the conflict in Ukraine and the US sanctions on Russia will have on our food supply this year, but farmer Jim Goodman, president of the National Family Farm Coalition, explains why our food system has been in crisis for a long time. Goodman discusses how the causes of the broken food system - corporatization, consolidation, a rigid supply chain and the climate crisis - are all coming together to make farmers reconsider whether it even makes sense to plant crops. He also explains that farmers could feed the world in ways that are good for our health and for the planet, but this requires returning control to the small farmers and communities throughout the world.

Land In South Africa Shall Be Shared Among Those Who Work It

In March 2022, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres warned of a ‘hurricane of hunger’ due to the war in Ukraine. Forty-five developing countries, most of them on the African continent, he said, ‘import at least a third of their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, with 18 of those import[ing] at least 50 percent’. Russia and Ukraine export 33% of global barley stocks, 29% of wheat, 17% of corn, and nearly 80% of the world’s supply of sunflower oil. Farmers outside of Russia and Ukraine, trying to make up for the lack of exports, are now struggling with higher fuel prices also caused by the war. Fuel prices impact both the cost of chemical fertilizers and farmers’ ability to grow their own crops.

The Radical Immigrant Farmers Who Helped Defeat The Robber Barons

“I was born in Fayette County, Texas, from German parents, and who fled from the reaction [to] the 1848 revolution. I think that I inherited some of my revolutionary qualifications. I am not responsible for them. I cannot help it.” So testified E.O. Meitzen before the Commission on Industrial Relations in March 1915 about why he involved himself in the political struggles of working farmers. At the time, Meitzen was a veteran leader of the Texas Socialist Party. Nearly thirty years earlier, his inheritance led him to help organize and lead the Fayette County Farmers’ Alliance. When the Farmers’ Alliance failed to bring relief to farmers, Meitzen joined the Populist revolt, becoming a statewide leader of the People’s Party. The Meitzen political legacy extended to E.O.’s children, in particular his son E.R., who was a leader successively in the Farmers’ Union, the Socialist Party, the Nonpartisan League and the Farm-Labor Union of America.

Dare To Win: Lessons From The Indian Farmers Movement

The Farmers Movement in India has inspired millions around the world who are fighting for justice, democracy and solidarity. The farmers held their ground in the face of threats, intimidation and relentless propaganda, and forced the Modi government to repeal the farm bills. This was one of the most spectacular victories of ordinary people against the combined assault of corporate power and the state, showing that determined struggle can defeat the mightiest of forces. On 19 November 2021 the Government of India announced that three highly contentious Farm Bills introduced in June 2020 would be repealed. The Government introduced the laws in the early months of the Covid-19 crisis, when opportunities for public and democratic discussion were extremely limited.

Why Is India Going On A General Strike On March 28-29?

India’s industrial workers, employees, farmers and agricultural laborers will observe a two-day general strike on March 28-29, 2022 under the slogan ‘Save People, Nation’. This means that not only will the country’s vast manufacturing sector workforce stop work, but all banks, other financial institutions, government and public sector offices, transport, construction, ports and docks, government scheme workers, educational institutions, etc will remain closed. Rural areas are likely to see mass protests by farmers and agricultural workers. By all estimates, it is going to be a historic protest action involving up to 250 million working people. This protest will be supported by students and youth, including big sections of unemployed youth, artists, intellectuals, scientists and other middle-class sections.

A New Law Promised Debt Relief For Black Farmers

After amassing more than $100,000 in debt over more than two decades of farming, a Georgia-based farmer named Denver got welcome news last year from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers like him would be eligible for a new debt relief program. USDA would pay off certain loans and give him a little extra for tax liabilities. Denver did not receive a payment. But almost a year later, he received another letter: A notice that USDA intends to take legal action to collect the money he owes the agency. Denver asked the Center for Public Integrity not to use his last name out of fear of retaliation. “We know that institutional discrimination is systemic within USDA,” said Tracy Lloyd McCurty, executive director of the Black Belt Justice Center. 

The Growing Right To Repair Movement

Earlier this month, a group of North Dakota farmers filed a class action lawsuit claiming that John Deere is illegally monopolizing agricultural equipment repair. The lawsuit alleges that Deere’s implementation of computerized engine control units and refusal to provide farmers and independent mechanics with needed software repair tools have forced farmers to pay millions more for service than they would have in a competitive market. A report from the US Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) titled Deere in the Headlights demonstrated how these software tools are necessary to fix modern tractors. The lawsuit against Deere reflects a burgeoning Right to Repair movement.

USDA Offers $1 Billion To Help Farmers And Ranchers Fight Climate Change

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $1 billion in projects that encourage farmers, ranchers and owners of forested land to employ practices that help mitigate the effects of climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions or catching and storing carbon, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack told Reuters on Monday. The new program is called the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. President Biden has committed to cutting agricultural emissions in half by 2030 and has asked farmers to lead the way, as U.S. agriculture is responsible for more than 10 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, CNBC reported.

What Can A 1970s Farmers’ Uprising Against An Energy Transition Teach Us?

If the United States is to make a transition to clean energy, it will need to build many more transmission lines—the thick wires that deliver power from rural areas, where there’s enough open space for wind and solar, to cities where the most power is consumed. But the process of building those lines is likely to be fraught with conflict and delays, because people in rural and suburban communities often don’t want to see wires and tall metal towers in their backyards. Clean energy advocates say that power companies need to do more to understand what fuels public opposition and how best to engage with power line opponents. And one way to start, they say, might be to examine one of the most intense battles over an interstate power line in U.S. history, which unfolded across rural Minnesota for much of the 1970s.

The WTO Threatens The Farmers’ Victory — Unless We Resist

The ministerial level meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will take place from November 30 to December 3. Generally, during such meetings, imperialist countries pressure developing countries to abolish their agricultural subsidies according to the policies of “free trade.” The new agricultural laws [the BJP’s neoliberalizing reforms against which the farmers’ movement struggled] were a result of the dictates of such meetings. Even now, the [farmers’ movement’s] demands pertaining to the legal guarantee of Minimum Support Price (MSP), the state purchase of crops, and the legal guarantee of the Public Distribution System (PDS) stand in direct contradiction to the dictates of the WTO. Indian rulers have already committed there, in writing, not to guarantee MSP, and the coming meeting is destined to bring more of the same.

India’s Farmers Win On Many Fronts, Media Fails On All

Farmers of all kinds, men and women – including from Adivasi and Dalit communities – played a crucial role in this country’s struggle for freedom. And in the 75th year of our Independence, the farmers at Delhi’s gates reiterated the spirit of that great struggle. Prime Minister Modi has announced he is backing off and repealing the farm laws in the upcoming winter session of Parliament starting on the 29th of this month. He says he is doing so after failing to persuade ‘a section of farmers despite best efforts’.  Just a section, mind you, that he could not convince to accept that the three discredited farm laws were really good for them. Not a word on, or for, the over 600 farmers who have died in the course of this historic struggle.
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