World Food Day
World Food Day was proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It marks the date of the founding of FAO in 1945. The aim of the Day is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. In 1980, the General Assembly endorsed observance of the Day in consideration of the fact that \"food is a requisite for human survival and well-being and a fundamental human necessity\" (resolution 35/70 of 5 December 1980). The first International Day of Rural Women was observed on 15 October 2008. This new international day, established by the UN General Assembly in its resolution 62/136 of 18 December 2007, recognizes “the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.” Small food producers are composed of farmers, agricultural workers, fisherfolks, pastoralists, indigenous peoples and women, men and young people (CSM Lobbying Document on developing guidelines/framework/code on responsible agricultural investment). Food Sovereignty is the inalienable RIGHT of peoples, communities, and countries to define, decide and implement their own agricultural, labour, fishing, food and land policies which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their unique circumstances. Rights of small producers; indigenous peoples for self-determination; gender justice in food and agriculture; and rights of agricultural workers are part of this struggle and are directly linked to the right to life and livelihoods. Widget by Way2Blogging


Friday, October 26, 2012

Mathara District Seminar on food sovereignty

A conference on food sovereignty was conducted by the NAFSO partner of Mathara district , Southern Fisheries Organization on 23rd of Oct. About 150 members were  participated to the program. Land rights, Land grabbing, needy of protection of local seeds with relation to the food sovereignty  were the main topic discussed. the topic of  Food habits as a preventive agents of  disease and local medicines that can cure commonly encountered diseases in the community were also took the attention of the audience.   
Participants highly appreciated the program. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

National Farmers Day was Commemorated

20th October commemorate as National farmers day in Sri Lanka. National Fisheries Solidarity, with Polonnaru Miridiya Organization, CEDCEC with  CARITAS Sri Lanks, Seth saviya Organization and Polonnaru Framers organization for global sustainable agriculture together organized a conference with more than 1000 participators from several ares of North central province in Polonnaruwa.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

DWC Accused Of Double Standards

The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) has been accused of adopting a double standard over encroachers at the Kahalla-Pallakelle sanctuary. Kahalla-Pallakelle was declared as a sanctuary through gazette notification No. 566/ 5 on July 1, 1989 and is 21,690 hectares in extent spanning through Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. According to Section 7 of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (amended) No. 22 of 2009, it is an offence to destroy wildlife habitats and breeding grounds, destroy trees or to carry out any road or other permanent or temporary construction within a sanctuary. Apart from the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (FFPO) rules and regulations, the gazette notification No. 859/14 of February 23, 1995 in accordance with the National Environmental Ordinance it is also an offence to carry out any development work within a sanctuary or 100 meters radius from the sanctuary boundary without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study. Although the law is such, it is clearly evident as to how the DWC officials enforce the law and order on encroachers in two different ways in the two districts. In order to protect the FFPO guidelines, the officers of the DWC have sent an ultimatum to the sanctuary encroachers in Irudeniyaya, Kurunegala to move out of the sanctuary in which they were living for the past 40 years. However interestingly, the same wildlife officials have openly allowed ruling party supporters to build houses within the same sanctuary but in a different place – Kalawewa in Anuradhapura district.
Read More.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Some of the links for media stories on Week of action

See related News in BBC Sandeshaya.
See related News in Ceylon Today.
See related News in Sama Bima.
See related News in Tamil Mirror.

World Food Day: Govt urged to protect rights of farmers

KARACHI, Oct 16: Farmers, fishermen, non-governmental organisations
and researchers gathered at a hotel on Tuesday to debate over the
matter of the nation’s food insecurity and produce from land and sea
at a conference held on the occasion of the World Food Day.

“Food for the people directly involved in growing it comes first,
followed by its supply to the market with trade as the third option,”
said Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) chairman Mohammad Ali Shah during
the first session looking at land, agriculture and food sovereignty.

“The government should come up with a policy to protect farmers’
rights as they are entitled to the food they produce first. But we
learn that they are the ones going without food,” he observed.

On the occasion, he read out the seven-point charter of demands for
land reforms presented by the civil society for the government to
consider. “There should be a distribution of state land to bona fide
haris. The Sindh government should do this starting with the landless
haris with priority given to the released bonded labourers and
flood-affected people including women. The haris should be given the
right of shelter and housing. The Sindh Tenancy Act 1950 should be
reviewed, updated and amended to bring it in line with the prevailing
conditions and requirements of haris. All labour laws, inclusive of
the Industrial Relations Act, ESSI, EOBI be also extended to haris.
The land reforms should be as per the 1977 Bill and, finally, the
Sindh government should take steps to allocate land and provide
incentives to the haris to form agriculture cooperatives.”

Throwing more light on the issues that were threatening Pakistan’s
agriculture, Dr Niaz Shaikh of the SZABIST said that if you look back
in history food had been the cause of migration and even war in the
world. “The people of North and West Europe came down to South when it
became too cold to grow food. Food storage is also an important issue.
The Egyptians can be hailed for their food storage facilities. Your
produce is most important as it is the cash crop. Its accessibility
process, how it reaches the people should also be a major concern and
it should be affordable, too,” he pointed out.

Nadeem Mirbahar of the IUCN in his presentation concentrated on the
opportunities and significance of mangrove ecosystems. He said that
the mangroves had great coastal and marine resource potential. Over
20,000 people here were dependant on mangroves for their food.
“Deforestation, hyper salinity, encroachment, pollution, natural and
climatic disasters are the main drivers of mangrove ecosystem
degradation,” he said.

Ismail Khumber of the Sindh Agriculture University Jamshoro said that
too much pesticide and artificial fertiliser was taking a toll on
agriculture. “The farmers believe that they need these for better and
more produce but it will hurt them in the long run,” he warned.

Giving his view on the discussion, Karamat Ali of the Pakistan
Institute of Labour Education and Research, who was chairing the first
session of the conference, said that the children in rural Sindh were
suffering from malnutrition. “What are we doing degrading our new
generation? It will ruin our future. We don’t struggle for our rights
any longer. And until we do that we will carry on suffering,” he said.

“We had started the Sindh Land Reform Movement with big expectations.
We had thought that we will share information about our farmers’
problems and work on how we could go around solving their various
issues. But we haven’t even met for the next meeting even after six
months of making the charter,” he said.

“How can we end food insecurity and begin land reforms without sharing
the problems of the common people. Why isn’t the common man’s issues a
priority for us? You can’t go about starting a successful movement
without including the common man and his issues. Why isn’t our action
connected to our plans? We really need a serious movement for land
reforms. If we don’t do anything now after even knowing what’s wrong
in our farmers’ lives, then we should seriously look for structural
problems among ourselves rather than speaking of the drawbacks in the
structure of government organisations,” he said.The second session of
the conference concentrated on fisheries and food sovereignty.
The session was chaired by PFF vice president Mustafa Mirani.

Dr Ely Ercelan, who is associated with both the PFF and Piler, said
that it was about time the farmers and fishermen of Sindh became

He said that even after giving some land to the poor farmers, there
would be enough left for the feudal.

He also spoke of collective rights to manage community-based assets.
“Like, the owner of five acres may not be able to afford a tractor but
he could always borrow it from another farmer who can afford a

PFF’s senior vice chairperson Tahira Ali Shah spoke of the rights of
women fisherfolk. “Our men get arrested at sea by the Indian
government. They are not terrorists, only fishermen. Where are the
human rights to get us back our breadwinners?” she inquired, while
pointing towards a little girl in the audience, the daughter of a
fisherman serving a sentence in India after being caught by their
coast guards in 1999.

“The girl, Nazia, is 13 today. She hasn’t known her father as she was
still in her mother’s womb when her father Usman was arrested at sea.
Her uncle Nawaz Ali Mohammad just returned in a casket from India. We
have no idea about her father’s fate now,” she said.

Questioning the need of the sum of Rs1,000 per month given to the
rural women through the Benazir Bhutto Income Support Programme, Ms
Shah said: “It would have been better to open a centre or vocational
training institute for women from that money instead”.

Mathara District people organized against on Land Grabbing

An awareness meeting was conducted In Mathara district organized by the Sothern Fisheries Organization- Mathara on 17th Oct. Issues of island wide Land grabbing were the main focus of the program.
About 100 participants were participated to the program and main speech was made by Thilak Kariyawasam, a well known environmentalist in Sri Lanka.
At the end participants decided to make a petition with 1000 signatures against the land grabbing and submit to the precedent, Mr.  Mahinda Rajapasha in the near future.    

National Level Conference on Land acquisition and its impact on food sovereignty.

A National level Conference was held in Colombo yesterday (16th Oct)  with the participation of diplomats and representatives from 18 districts out of 25. It was organized by the People's Alliance for Right to Land (PARL).
Dr. Jayampathi Samarakoon, a consultant for integrated coastal management, was given the guest speech on the topic of  food security, land use management and the future. During his presentation, he pointed out that, according to the world bank report of 2011,  80% of Sri Lanka population lives in rural areas, the rural poor population accounts for 95%of country's poor. state sector poverty increased from 21% to 30.5%  during 1990/91 to 2002. Agriculture's share in GDP and employment in agriculture sector have declined, over 60 percent of families in North are food insecure and also food insecurity in East also very high.    
He also mentioned that, According to the world food Program report released in 2011, staple food price in Sri Lanka are the highest in the region.
food security requires adequate land and water, According to the Director of mine bureau and Geological survey running out of ground water in North-Western province in Sri Lanka.
In his suggestive conclusion, he pointed out that,
Food production and supply are declining, cannot pace with demand.
Food insecurity is increasing accompanied by looming problem in regard to food imports.
Foreign debt is casing  thereby imposing a serious burden on the future generation.
Imbalance between "small scale" and "large scale" food producers is increasing, the former is the loser.
Awareness about the "big picture" is inadequate both in regards to Sri Lanka and globally.    
And finally he suggested to build awareness at all levels to protect small scale food producing ecosystem and Impart countervailing power to small scale food producers at rural level through organizing and by networking for effective negotiation with the state.
Several other speakers also expressed their views on food sovereignty and issues we are facing after ends of war in the country.

During the program a report on resettlement of IDP in North of Sri Lanka was launched. it has been prepared after field visit of team from few organization including NAFSO.