- Published on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 17:26
At a time where seed markets are dominated by large corporations, it is essential to focus on local peasant seed production. In the seeds sector hybrids are becoming the norm and we face an increased effort to declare genetically modified plants as safe, or to give the impression, with the help of “new breeding techniques”, that we are not talking about genetic engineering at all. Against these developments it is necessary to find possibilities to maintain and increase a peasant seed supply that is locally adapted. Extreme weather due to climate change, such as long lasting droughts, increase the need for locally adapted seeds that can react flexibly in uncertain conditions. Every farmer should have the possibility of a self-determined use of such seeds. Frequently though, the required varieties for the certain location of a farm are not bred, or are not permitted for sale. This is also due to the seeds legislation that contributes to a restriction of available seeds on the market.
- Published on Wednesday, 25 May 2016 17:12
There is a growing crisis facing farms and peasants who work the land around the world. The problem is that peasant farmers are aging and the future of their farms is in jeopardy. It is causing serious concerns about the current state of farm succession.
Globally, the average age of farmers is 60 years,with only slight variations across continents and countries.In Africa the average farmer's age is also 60 despite the fact that 60% of the rest of the population is under twenty-four. In the United States 84% of farmers are over 45 years old, while in Taiwan a massive 92% are over 45 years old. Europe is no exception, with only 7% of farmers under the age of 35, and half of all farmers poised to retire within 10 years.
It is first important to define 'peasants' and to understand how the term differs from the European Union's understanding of 'family farmers.' The EU's definition of 'family farmers' is based on a few factors: the amount of work performed by the family itself, the amount of land, and whether the family owns most of the operation.
- Published on Thursday, 19 May 2016 21:31
An intervention by David Jelinek of ÖBV- Via Campesina Austria, during the third session of the intergovernmental working group on a United Nations declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas
Geneva, May 19, 2016
As member of La Via Campesina Austria, and as a young entrant into peasant farming, I would like to express my concern about some of the arguments brought forward, which are doubting the need for article 19, the right to land. Indeed, from my perspective, from the perspective of a young person who is working and living on and from the land, I see this article as absolutely unnegotiable. In fact, I think that if we delete or weaken it in any way, we might as well dump this entire declaration as a whole, because what are my, what are our rights worth, when we cannot execute them on the soil, on our workplace. This would be like being granted the right for free movement but at the same time being surrounded by border fences. Thus l see Article 19 as it is now, as a very important and indispensable component of this Declaration.
- Published on Thursday, 19 May 2016 13:48
The Nyéléni Europe Movement brings together farmers, fishers, pastoralists, Indigenous Peoples, consumers, NGOs, trade unions, environmental, development, research and Justice/Solidarity/Human Rights Organizations, community-based food movements and others to enhance existing food sovereignty initiatives and strengthen our work at local, national, regional and global levels.