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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 14 - 20  > Japanese progressive farmers stand in solidarity with world's peasants
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2018 February 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japanese progressive farmers stand in solidarity with world's peasants

February 15, 2018
The Japan Family Farmers Movement (Nouminren) on February 13 held a symposium in the Upper House Members' Office Building and discussed the issue of protecting local agriculture and agricultural produce, with invited representatives of overseas farmers' movements attending.

From organizations affiliated with the international peasants' movement La Via Campesina, Erika Takeo of ATC (Rural Workers' Association, Nicaragua) and Annga Hermanda of SPI (Indonesia Peasant Union) gave keynote addresses.

Takeo said that the Nicaraguan government led by the FSLN (Sandinista National Liberation Front) has been promoting land redistribution and agrarian reform through cooperatives. She added that her organization, the ATC, is also a cooperative society for Nicaraguan peasants and has been working to protect hacienda/plantation workers' human rights and help improve their working conditions since its inauguration in 1978.

The Nicaraguan reporter also said that the ATC, in collaboration with other La Via Campesina-affiliated organizations in Central America, provides workshops and education to farmers for the expansion of practical agroecology suitable to each region's culture and environment.

SPI Hermanda accused the U.S.-initiated "Green Revolution" of having brought seeds of foreign origin as well as genetically-modified seeds into Indonesia, and blamed this agribusiness initiative for causing the loss of 1,500 species of Indonesia's native seeds. He reported that many peasants now suffer from poverty due to the lack of agricultural subsidies.

He criticized for-profit companies for the construction of large-scale plantations in partnership with foreign capital. He also criticized the Indonesian government for promoting large-scale, capital intensive development projects such as the construction of expressways and an expanded international airport. He claimed that these moves are also depriving peasants of their land. Under such circumstances, the SPI is increasing its membership, he said.

Nouminren President Sasawatari Yoshio delivered the closing address, expressing his appreciation to the two representatives for their reports, and called on Nouminren members to stand in solidarity with struggling peasants and farmers throughout the world.

Past related articles:
> Japanese farmers share goal of food sovereignty with global peasant movement [July 6, 2013]
> International forum opposing TPP held [October 16, 2011]

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