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Bulletin boardThe bulletin board is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

 


 

We, social and grassroots movements and their allies met at the African Social Forum in Dakar in October 2014, with the objective to unite all the struggles for the Land and Water and against the criminalization of activists thereof. We have developed a declaration entitled "Rights to Water and Land, A Common Struggle".

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Rural women are the guardians of seed, life and love. Without land, seeds cannot be planted. Without land, life cannot be brought forth and without land in the hands of women, the love for nature does not exist while corporate control rapidly destroys the planet we share.

We will not wait to be given land and will march across the world in unity with our sisters.

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The latest report by EJOLT, a global alliance of environmental justice organisations, on the nature and impact of the increasing global biomass trade. The report examines the global evolution of food production and international food trade and identifies related drivers of socio-environmental conflicts. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, global trade in agricultural products grew more than three times faster than agricultural production. Nearly all the new land that had been put into production since 1986 was used to produce export crops. The authors conclude that the EU should revise the Common Agricultural Policy to strengthen small-scale farming, promote shorter production chains, support fair trade schemes, as well as to increase organic and permaculture practices. Henk Hobbelink from GRAIN said that “On this topic, the only real policy recommendation that I see is that the expansion of the commodity crops should be stopped and reversed, and land should be reverted to food production in the hand of small farmers.”

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Though the word “farmer” is gender neutral, when people think of farmers, they automatically picture men. This is so internalized that we have to specify “women farmers” to address the significant half of ‘the farming world’. The blindness to women in agriculture goes beyond language; the visible-invisible contribution of women in the agriculture sector and rural society is completely neglected.
Members of LVC South Asia take this day as an opportunity to share the realities of rural women in each of our areas – farmers facing sexual violence in North India, religious fundamentalism in Bangladesh, and militarism in Sri Lanka.
 

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Who controls our food?

Nick Dearden | 04 March 2015 | food sovereignty

How we produce food is a deeply political issue that affects the lives and livelihoods of billions of people. A new report from Global Justice Now, From The Roots Up, shows that not only can small-scale organically produced food feed the world, but it can do so better than intensive, corporate-controlled agriculture.

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From 24-27 February, the women and men gathered at the International Agroecology Conference in Mali will debate and share experiences to reinforce a common vision and principles of agroecology that include its social, economic and political elements.

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Tycoon-controlled oil palm groups in Indonesia

Rahmawati Retno Winarni and Jan Willem van Gelder | 20 February 2015 | land grabbing, corporations | Indonesia

The rapid expansion of Indonesian oil palm plantations creates serious environmental and social problems. A report analyse the ownership and financing of 25 large tycoon-controlled business groups that control 31% (3.1 million hectares) of the total planted oil palm plantation at present. These groups still have at least 2 million hectares of undeveloped land banks under control. The most important business groups - in terms of their planted areas - are Sinar Mas Group, Salim Group, Jardine Matheson Group, Wilmar Group and Surya Dumai Group.

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A report on landgrabbing by GRAIN and the Mozambique small farmers movement UNAC has sparked quite some debate in the country. According to Chris Arsenault of Reuters: "Mozambique, a country wracked by hunger, has signed away land concessions three times larger than Greater London to outside investors in the past decade, displacing thousands of farmers in the process, said a report released on Thursday".

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Government proposes that those who have worked and lived on a farm for ten years or more should, by law, get a proportional share in the ‘land’ or ‘equity’ on the farm. Du Toit argues that the draft policy's rationale lies not insupposed benefits for those who work the land, but in the political theatre currently unfolding in South Africa as a whole.

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On Wednesday, February 11 2015, Chai Bunthonglek, a land rights activist from Klong Sai Pattana village, Chaiburi District  Suratthani Province and member of the Southern Peasant Federation of Thailand was gunned down. International and local human rights defenders have condemned the murder of a land rights activist in Surat Thani.



 

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