Category Archives: Issue: Agrarian Reform

Indonesian farmers to discuss Plant Variety Protection Law

The Plant Variety Protection Law is an important issue that has crucial link to agriculture and food security in Indonesia. For one, it raises the issue of farmers’ rights versus breeders’ rights.

In order for farmers to understand the issue better and to share experiences and views with each other, the Indonesian Peasants Alliance (Aliansi Petani Indonesia or API) will hold the “Farmers’ Dialogue on Plant Variety Protection Regulation and Implications for Food Security” on February 10-11, 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The dialogue will be co-organized by the Third World Network (TWN) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Participants to the dialogue will include peasants, community organisers and non-governmental organisations.

For more information in Bahasa, click here or go to http://www.api-indonesia.co.cc/.

Related Article: Case Documentation: Indonesian farmers prosecuted for breeding their own seeds

Camarines farmers march to Malacañang

By Juan Escandor Jr.
Southern Luzon Bureau

Posted date: November 20, 2008

MANILA, Philippines – At 4 a.m. Tuesday, the second day of their 21-day or 444-kilometer walk to Malacañang that started Monday in Bula town in Camarines Sur, 51 farmers and their supporters left Naga City to press for a reversal of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita’s decision in April that dispossessed them of their land.

Pobleo Clavero, 82, the oldest among the marchers, who has been tilling the land since 1939, said he hoped he could make it to Malacañang because this could be his last exercise of his right to seek justice.

Ermita’s decision on April 16 set aside the agrarian reform coverage of 123 hectares of the Fajardo Estate in Sitio Banasi, Barangay Pawili.

The estate is being tilled by 57 farmer-beneficiaries earlier awarded farm lots through Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) titled at the Registry of Deeds of Camarines Sur.

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PAKISAMA, AFA joins 5th National Organic Agriculture Conference

By Tsai Shu Hui, AFA

Organic agriculture has steadily gained acceptance and support the past years. Stakeholders and supporters of the organic agriculture sector are now working and collaborating with each other for its development and advancement. The first National Organic Agriculture Conference (NOAC) was convened in June 2004 through the collaboration of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Product Standards (BAFPS) with the Organic Producers and Traders Association (OPTA).

The output of the 2004 Conference was a resolution signed by then DA Secretary Luis P. Lorenzo calling for the creation of a Philippines National Organic Agriculture Board (PNOAB). The conference also enabled organic stakenholders, regulators, academe, and non-government organizations to interact.

For 2008, the 5th NOAC held in Davao City through the collaborative efforts of the BAFPS, DA-Regional Field Unit Xl, National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB) and the Go Organic Mindanao (GOM), a broad coalition of advocates and practitioners of organic agriculture in Mindanao.

Continue reading PAKISAMA, AFA joins 5th National Organic Agriculture Conference

Solidarity Statement for the Peasants of Kelompok Tani Masyarakat Ingin Makmur (KTMIM) in Indonesia

We, the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), a regional alliance of 9 farmer federations in 8 Asian countries representing 10 million farmers, join the call to “free the peasants of Kelompok Tani Masyarakat Ingin Makmur (KTMIM) and investigate the violation of human rights in Banjaran Village, Secanggang Sub-District, Langkat District” in Indonesia.

We are appalled by the wanton disregard for human rights exhibited by PT Buana Estate and the Mobile Brigade when they violently attacked the peasants who were peacefully guarding their land last July 25, 2008.

The land belongs to the people of Kampung Banjaran who have lived there for generations since 1931. But in 1985, Plantation PT Buana Estate forced them to move out from the land, which has already been declared out of the right to use for PT Buana Estate through the Decree of Home Affairs Ministry No.9/HGU/DA/82 dated 25 June 1982.

We are angered by their criminal action when they hit with a truck and brutally kicked Ponisih, a 36-year old peasant woman, who is now in a coma in a hospital, fighting for her life.

We are deeply disturbed by the arrest of 46 peasants, including 2 women – Ana, 35 years old, and Ganong, 55 years old – made by the police during the attack, and are gravely concerned about their safety.

Continue reading Solidarity Statement for the Peasants of Kelompok Tani Masyarakat Ingin Makmur (KTMIM) in Indonesia

In the News (Philippines): House defers vote on CARP extension bill, But resolution extending LAD until December OKd

By Maila Ager, INQUIRER.net, First Posted 17:50:00 06/10/2008

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 3) The House of Representatives on Tuesday deferred voting on a bill extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, triggering farmers in the gallery to jump into the session hall in protest.

Read the full article at the PDI

Watch online video: ‘Shame on you!’ peasant leader tells House members

AFA participates in 2008 Global Farmers’ Forum

Representatives of the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) joined around 80 farmer leaders from around the world for the second global meeting of the Farmers’ Forum that took place on February 11-12, 2008 in conjunction with the thirty-first session of International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Governing Council.

(In the photo: AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia reads the synthesis of deliberations during the IFAD governing council meeting.)

Continue reading AFA participates in 2008 Global Farmers’ Forum

Philippine farmers get land through settlement agreement

The group of indigenous farmers in the Philippines, who marched around 1,500 kilometers from Bukidnon province (south of the Philippines) to Metro Manila (north of the Philippines) for around 60 days, finally got to own the land they have been struggling for, after entering into a settlement agreement with San Miguel Corporation, the company who bought the land from the previous owner.

The Settlement agreement provides for the Sumilao farmers to get back 50 of their 144-hectare ancestral land through a deed of donation from San Miguel Corporation and get another 94 hectares through a voluntary offer to sale (VOS) scheme of the Department of Agrarian Reform in adjacent properties in Sumilao, Bukidnon in the coming days or months.

(Photo courtesy of www.sumilaomarch.multiply.com)

Click here for PAKISAMA’s Statement on the Settlement Agreement

Agrarian reform’s role in the food and hunger equation

As news about food crisis and hunger grab national and international headlines, it is important that we look at the issue in its proper context and from a wider perspective. The article “Five Myths About Food and Hunger” that appeared in a quarterly publication of the Context Institute in 1995 dispels the myth that agrarian reform is passe or does not work. It argues that “not only is agrarian reform an issue of social justice, but redistribution can lead to increases in production at lower cost, as labor-intensive multiple cropping systems produce higher yields with fewer inputs.” It goes on to say that “Only agrarian reform that gives the poor access to land with regular rainfall or irrigation can make a difference. To succeed, peasants also need credit, education, extension services, and marketing channels.” (In the photo: Farmers rally in the Philippines to demand for reform and extension of agrarian reform law.)

Click here to read the article in the In Context website

Farmers affirm land reform imperatives

“Land tenure security, effective and massive peasant organizations, and civil society alliances are imperatives to meaningful and broad land reform programs.” This was one of the messages during a global gathering of farmers and their supporters held in Rome recently.

Speaking during the thematic workshop entitled “Access to Land: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities. Role and Perspectives of Farmers’ and Rural Producers’ Organizations” held at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Rome, Italy last February 12, Mr. Crispino Aguelo, President of the National Movement of Peasant Organizations in the Philippines or PAKISAMA (a member of the Asian Farmers Association or AFA), shared lessons from their land tenure security campaigns.

(In the photo: Mr. Crispino Aguelo, PAKISAMA President.)

Click here to read the full introductory remarks.

Continue reading Farmers affirm land reform imperatives

AFA Paper: Towards a Meaningful Engagement in Land Access Tenure Security

(Introductory remarks by Crispin Aguelo, President of PAKISAMA, to a thematic workshop entitled: “Access to Land: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities. Role and Perspectives of Farmers’ and Rural Producers’ Organizations”, held in Rome, February 2008.)

Good morning colleagues in the agrarian reform movement! I am Crispin Aguelo, President of PAKISAMA or National Movement of Peasant Organizations in the Philippines, a member of the Asian Farmers Association or AFA. I was tasked to give introductory remarks to our thematic session entitled “Access to Land: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities. Role and Perspectives of Farmers’ and Rural Producers’ Organizations”.

Continue reading AFA Paper: Towards a Meaningful Engagement in Land Access Tenure Security

Filipino farmers marching for land get support of Catholic church

The indigenous farmers who have been marching for 58 days now since October 10 from Sumilao, Bukidnon in Mindanao reached the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City, Metro Manila last night, December 5, where they were received by Philippine Catholic Church leader Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales and the Jesuit community, together with their supporters, including AFA and PAKISAMA.

Read the headline story by the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Watch the video taken by the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Read more about the Sumilao farmers

Get more news and information about farmers and agriculture in Asia

Solidarity Message for Sumilao Farmers

The following is the solidarity message sent by AFA to the Sumilao farmers, who are mostly members of PAKISAMA. The Sumilao farmers belonging to the Higaonon tribal community in southern Philippines have been marching around 1,700 kilometers for almost 60 days from Bukidnon in Mindanao to Metro Manila to reclaim the 144 hectares of ancestral land that was taken away from them and to call for the passage of the law extending the agrarian reform program that can still give land to around 433,333 landless Filipino farmers.

Continue reading Solidarity Message for Sumilao Farmers

Synthesis of the Panel “Roadmap towards a Sustainable Rural Development in ASEAN”

A. Common Issues

1. Small scale men and women farmers, fishers and indigenous peoples in the rural areas , who altogether form the majority of the people in ASEAN member countries and the poorest in their societies, face the following issues:
Continue reading Synthesis of the Panel “Roadmap towards a Sustainable Rural Development in ASEAN”

Synthesis Report of APA concurrent panel session on “Towards a Fair Trade in an Integrating ASEAN: Perspectives of Small Men and Women Farmers in AFA”

1. ASEAN economic integration through liberalization in trade, investments and services has caused massive displacement of workers both at formal and service sectors as well as small farmers and producers, who compose the majority of the ASEAN population. Women bear the brunt of this displacement; since at least 50% of the agriculture sectors are women and the displacement increases the ranks of unprotected informal workers, mostly women.
Continue reading Synthesis Report of APA concurrent panel session on “Towards a Fair Trade in an Integrating ASEAN: Perspectives of Small Men and Women Farmers in AFA”

Statement of Support of SorKorPor in Thailand to Sumilao Farmers in the Philippines

Dear Friends in PAKISAMA,

Re: Moral Support to “Lumad” Farmers from Sumilao to March on Foot for 60 Days to Reclaim Land

Farmers’ Federations Association for Development Thailand (Sorkorpor) wants to express our admirableness to “Lumad” Farmers through our friends, PAKISAMA.

We realize that LAND is heart of all farmers. In case of Thailand, our small farmers in all parts of the country have ever struggled to protect their ancient lands from many competitive used of other sectors. Regarding to the circumstance, we can say that Filippino and Thai farmers are in the same fate. We think that the campaign by marching on foot for 60 days to reclaim land of Sumilao farmers is a symbol of farmers and poor people who have just only bodies and mind as tools for struggle.

Continue reading Statement of Support of SorKorPor in Thailand to Sumilao Farmers in the Philippines

SAFaR COVENANT

We, THE PARTICIPANTS from the Asia Partnership for Human Development (APHD), working in solidarity with the poor, marginalized and oppressed peoples and farmers’ of Asia, gathered here at the Flushing Meadows Resort and Playground, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines, from 18-22 October 2007, on the occasion of the 3rd Asia Partnership for Human Development Pan-Asia Farmers’ Conference. After the sharing of experiences, deliberations and joint analyses,
Continue reading SAFaR COVENANT

“Lumad” farmers from Sumilao to march on foot for 60 days to reclaim land

sumilao farmersQuezon City, Philippines — As a non-violent way of protesting the more than 10 years of injustice they have gone through in trying to reclaim their ancestral land, 50 “lumad” farmers belonging to the Mapalad Multi-purpose Cooperative (MPC) will march on foot from their hometown of Sumilao, Bukidnon in the south to the capital city of Manila in the north from October 10 to December 10. (“Lumad” is the term given to the indigenous peoples in the southern island of Mindanao.)

In a letter e-mailed to agrarian reform and rural development advocates in the country and abroad, PAKISAMA, a national confederation of farmers’ associations in the Philippines (of which MPC, through its provincial federation PALAMBU, is a member) asked for support for the farmers’ 60-day march that will hopefully “re-ignite awareness on the situation of agrarian reform in the country and create a groundswell of support for the acceleration of distribution of lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).” (PAKISAMA is a member of AFA.)

Continue reading “Lumad” farmers from Sumilao to march on foot for 60 days to reclaim land

AFA holds regional consultation on farmers’ situation

farmers' situationThe “Regional Consultation Workshop on Farmers’ Situation: Responding to Major Difficulties Faced by Farmers in Asia” was held last June 12-14, 2007 at the SEAMEO Innotech Center, Commonwealth Avenue, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines, hosted by PAKISAMA.

Continue reading AFA holds regional consultation on farmers’ situation