We can’t more strongly encourage you to view and share George Steinmetz’s New York Times Magazine‘s piece “Super Size: the Dizzying Grandeur of 21st Century Agriculture.” It, in no small way, puts things in perspective.
Man! We’re always asking the same question! Seriously though, this is a great episode, both for those looking for a good primer on the subject and a fascinating case study for those who already know a lot about it. The podcast delves into the soya market in Argentina, global ag subsidies as a whole, and, as a bit of a non-sequador, on lab-grown meat for human consumption.
NPR’s The Salt, on why the USDA is purchasing $20,000 worth of cheese to help US dairy farmers– and why it doesn’t really make a difference to the big dairy industry. If this piece whets your appetite to understand globalization and milk production, we recommend you keep on down the rabbit hole with this Modern Farmer piece. Then, watch this mind-blowing lecture that we posted last July about the impact that trade deals like the TPP would have on small dairy farmers in Maine.
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In the creators’ own words,
“A Growing Culture (AGC) is a global coalition that connects farmers to each other and to the resources they need to create an ecologically sound food system and prosperous planet. We are building the world’s first digital, open-access platform powered by farmers, for farmers. The Library for Food Sovereignty will make it possible for farmers to connect directly with each other for the first time, to compare ideas and approaches, and to join together to build a global food system that works for everyone without harming our planet.
We’ve already raised 2/3 of the money we need to create the Library; reaching our crowdfunding goal will enable us to finalize and perfect the basic model. We need your help to get there. Any donations above our goal will go towards the creation of more advanced functions.”
International Conference on Agrarian Reform
La Via Campesino, The Peasant’s Movement
Marabá, 15 April 2016
From 13 to 17 April 2016, in Marabá, Pará, Brazil, more than 130 delegates from 28 countries around the world were brought together as part of La Vía Campesina and allied movements, as part of the International Conference on Agrarian Reform, a symbol of the fight for freedom for men and women in the fields, the mangroves and on the sea. The aim of the conference was to draw up a much-needed proposal for Popular Agrarian Reform to override capitalist and neoliberal expansion.
At this time of struggle and resistance for peoples of the world, we debated thecriminalisation, persecution and judicialization of the struggle for the defense of life, rights, land, water, seeds and mother earth, promoted by capitalist interests imposing political, economic, military and social terrorism. This all occurs with the consent of State Governments by means of their lethal projects such as extraction-based infrastructure projects, or capitalist ‘development’ (tourism, carbon markets, mining, hydroelectricity, monoculture, agribusiness, industrial agriculture and mariculture), as well as the militarisation of our lands. Deprivation, social instability and repression are widespread as a result of systematic assassinations, massacres, forced disappearances, high rates of femicide, imprisonment and arbitrary detention, intimidation, harassment and threats, prosecution of leaders, forced migration and wars against ordinary people.
On top of this there is political instability with the purpose of maintaining an imbalance among populations over the world, as well as frequent coups on the US government’s radar, a state which begins by creating unstable, failed states, as is the case in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Paraguay, Ecuador, Bolivia, South Africa, and the current attempted coup against the Brazilian people and the systematic meddling in the Venezuelan process.
We see collusion between the State, private companies, corporations and elites who create a culture of impunity that allows perpetrators to escape unpunished.
Faced with this wave of unbridled criminalisation of those of us who defend water, land, mangroves, sea, territory and life, we denounce and call for the punishment of those responsible for thousands of assassinations of social leaders, we denounce the legal prosecution of thousands of campaigners, we call for the liberation of thousands of political prisoners, we denounce the extreme case of the assassination of Berta Cáceres, one of the most symbolic leaders in the fight against capital plundering and a campaigner for peace in Honduras. We urgently need an end to the criminalization of the fight for land, mangroves and sea, and the social struggle.
Today, more than ever, we reaffirm that our fight is part of the defence of human rights and life. For life we give everything, for death we give nothing.
Throughout our lifelong struggle, not one moment of silence for our dead!
La Via Campesino is an international movement that seeks to unite peasants, landless, woman farmers, and rural youth to fight to defend and promote small-scale sustainable agriculture as a lifestyle and livelihood. Read more about their work here! And check out our 2011 blog post about their food sovereignty youth training program.
Artists from South Sudan, a new country fraught with internal conflict, make a case for the power of community agriculture in their music video. As they sing, rap, and comb through fields of corn, okra, and sorghum, their message is clear: There’s rich soil in Sudan, and it will improve the lives of people if they decide to use it–but it’s up to them to start digging.
Check out the behind-the-scenes interviews, too, for words from The Jay Family about why they feel farming can help the people of Sudan. Yuppie Jay says, “People blame the governor when something goes wrong. But at our homes we need to put things right. We need to go, to present to the government that we have made this, we have crops, we have farms. Then the government can support with money for roads, for tractors. But we can’t wait for the government to fix all our problems. We need to arrange ourselves and be where we are.”