Bobby Ramakant - CNS
'Land to the tillers' is an essential part of genuine agrarian reforms worldwide
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Food nourishes life. Our farmers produce more than enough food to feed all the people on the planet but due to socially unjust and ecologically unsustainable food systems, many people are forced to go hungry. Moreover farmers who help nurture life, continue to struggle for their livelihoods and human rights. In lead up to 2021 World Localization Day, farmers from all continents worldwide are uniting to demand genuine reforms in our food system that also localize supply-chains and help recover people's connections to nature and community.
One of the most devastating policies that destroyed food systems is trade and investment liberalization. That is why farmers alongwith many more people worldwide have united to reverse such liberalization and call for localization so that we have socially just and ecologically sustainable food systems.
"When farmlands are productive and natural resources are plenty then why are our farmers so poor?" rightly questions Lito Lumapas from Philippines, who is a farmers' leader from AMGL (Alyansa ng Magbubukid sa Gitnang Luzon or the Alliance of Farmers from Central Luzon). "All farmers want is genuine land reform by which we mean free distribution of land to its tillers."
Despite several land reforms that were done by our governments in the past, free distribution of the land to its tillers is yet to become a reality. Sadder is the truth that often these so-called 'land reforms' have rather resulted in farmers being forced to become landless and corporations taking over the land for infrastructure projects. Agricultural land is widely seized from farmers and indigenous peoples to build roads, airports, subdivisions, buildings, dams, power plants, and other large infrastructure projects.
9 out of 10 farmers are landless
That is why Arnold Gallardo from AMGL, who is also a radio broadcaster from the Philippines, stressed upon the demand for true land reforms. "Although several land reforms have been passed by the Philippines, yet little difference was made in lives of farmers as 9 out of 10 farmers are landless. That is why we are calling for true land reforms."
Arnold Gallardo and Lito Lumapas were speaking as panelists at the ongoing fortnightly Peasants Rise Up Broadcast series co-hosted by Asian Peasant Coalition and PAN Asia Pacific's "No Land No Life!" campaign and moderated by Christina Sayson from the Philippines and Bobby Ramakant from India.
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