Category Archives: Issue: Seeds

In the News (Indonesia): Farmers rally to demand revision of Plant Cultivation System law

(AFA supports API and other peasant groups in Indonesia in their struggle to uphold farmers’ rights.)

Translated from Indonesian. (Click here for original story.)

Kediri, East Java, Indonesia, July 24, 2010 – As many as 50 farmers who are members of Farmers’ Solidarity Sovereignty (Solidaritas Kedaulatan Petani or SKP), held a demonstration in front of Prison Class II A of Kediri (Lapas Kelas II A Kediri, Sabtu) in East Java, Indonesia. The peasants feel victimized by the law, which they say only serves the interests of seed companies mainly owned by foreign investors.

They therefore urged the government to revise Law No.12/1992 on the Plant Cultivation System (Sistem Budidaya Tanaman or SBT).

Law No. 12 of 1992 on Plant Cultivation System (SBT Act). They said that the law protects the interests of capitalist investors while criminalizing farmers. They cited the case of Mr. Kuncoro, a farmer from Toyorosemi village, at Ngasem subdistrict, Kediri district, East Java province.

After being accused of producing corn seeds illegally, he was finally sentenced to seven months in jail in a trial held last May 31, 2010. “Mr. Kuncoro is a victim of the SBT Act,” said Naning Yunaidah Suprawati, action coordinator (and also advocacy staff of Aliansi Petani Indonesia or API in East Java.)
Continue reading In the News (Indonesia): Farmers rally to demand revision of Plant Cultivation System law

Dalam Berita (Indonesia): Demo Petani Kediri Desak Revisi UU

(Menegakkan petani hak! – AFA)

Kediri, 24 Juli 2010 – Sebanyak 50 orang petani yang tergabung dalam Solidaritas Kedaulatan Petani (SKP) menggelar unjuk rasa di depan Lapas Kelas II A Kediri, Sabtu (24/7). Para petani itu merasa menjadi korban produk undang-undang yang ditengarai menguntungkan kekuatan para pemilik modal atau investor.

Karena itu mereka mendesak pemerintah merevisi Undang-undang No 12 tahun 1992 tentang Sistem Budidaya Tanaman (SBT). UU itu dinilai berpihak kepada investor dan pemilik modal yang unjung-ujungnya bisa mengkriminalisasi para petani. Itu seperti dialami Kuncoro, Warga Toyorosemi, Kecamatan Ngasem, Kediri.

Karena dituduh memproduksi benih jagung, akhirnya dia divonis tujuh bulan penjara pada sidang 31 Mei 2010. “Pak Kuncoro adalah korban UU SBT,” kata Koordinator Aksi Naning Yunaidah Suprawati, Sabtu (24/7).
Continue reading Dalam Berita (Indonesia): Demo Petani Kediri Desak Revisi UU

In the News: Haitian Farmers Reject Monsanto Donation

The Peasant Movement of Papay, a group of Haitian farmers, has committed to burning 60,000 seed sacks (475 tons) of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds donated by Monsanto in the wake of the devastating earthquake earlier this year.

Peasant Movement of Papay leader Chavannes Jean-Baptiste called Monsanto’s donation “a new earthquake” and called for a march to protest the corporation’s presence in Haiti for World Environment Day.

The National Peasant Movement of the Congress of Papay sent an open letter on May 14 signed by Jean-Baptiste. The letter called Monsanto’s presence in Haiti, “a very strong attack on small agriculture, on farmers, on biodiversity, on Creole seeds…, and on what is left of our environment in Haiti.”

In addition to MPNKP and MPP, other Haitian social movements have advocated in opposition to agribusiness imports of seeds and food. The groups have expressed strong concern regarding the importation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as they undermine local production of local seed stocks.

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In the News: RP farmers warned vs hybrid rice seeds

May 16, 2010, 3:29pm

A study conducted by a consortium of farmers’ groups in Asia has warned Filipino farmers about the disastrous results of heavy reliance on hybrid rice seeds developed largely through the efforts of foreigne plant breeders.

Released last month, the study undertaken by 11 groups from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Laos and Bangladesh, said the use of hybrid rice seeds placed farmers at the mercy of companies that supply the seeds for every cropping season.

Moreover, the massive introduction of hybrid rice was marked by infestation and the resurgence of diseases that led to low yields, as what happened in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia. and the Philippines.

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In the News: Thai farmers preserve rice diversity

BANGKOK, Jan. 5 (UPI) — Traditional farmers in Thailand are helping preserve a genetic diversity in rice not found in modern strains, scientists said.

The genetically diverse strains could be used to improve crops worldwide, said biologist Barbara Schaal of Washington University
in St. Louis.

Schaal and her colleagues studied rice grown by the Karen people in the hills of Thailand.

Read the full story at UPI