Agricultura

Farmers celebrate after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he will repeal the controversial farm laws near the Delhi-Haryana border, India, Nov. 19. (Reuters/Anushree Fadnavis)

Over the past seven years, Prime Minister Narendra and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have dominated Indian politics. During this time, democracy in the country has undergone a drastic decline. Rights and freedoms have been eroded, with Muslims in particular marginalized from the nation.

Today, however, protesting farmers are protecting Indian democracy from further degradation — andshowing the worldhowsocial justice movements can lead the values and practices of liberal democracy to flourish.

On Friday, Modi, in a rare retreat, announced the repeal of three laws that farmers across India have been protesting for more than a year. The three agriculture reform bills, which concern the pricing, sale and storage of farm products, were passed by the Indian parliament in September 2020.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por qué los colombianos están unidos a favor de la reforma agraria

Esta semana, durante la visita a Colombia del secretario de Estado de Estados Unidos, Antony Blinken, el tema de la reforma agraria fue una prioridad en la agenda. El hecho de que los agricultores no tengan títulos de propiedad de sus tierras en muchas de las zonas rurales de Colombia es un factor importante, aunque invisible, que contribuye a dos de los mayores problemas del país: el cultivo ilegal de coca —la base de la cocaína— y la fuerza perdurable de los movimientos guerrilleros, incluidas letales facciones disidentes de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc). El gobierno prometió una “reforma rural integral” en el primer capítulo de su acuerdo de paz final con las Farc en 2016, pero aún le falta mucho por hacer para poder decir que cumplió esa promesa.…  Seguir leyendo »

Así es como Estados Unidos controla lo que se come en Puerto Rico

En 1953, la oficina de turismo del Estado libre asociado de Puerto Rico lanzó un video promocional para atraer visitantes llamado “Fiesta Island”. Este presenta a la isla y a su gente como rarezas exóticas, un reflejo de las actitudes colonialistas de la época, y da la impresión de que el máximo deseo de los puertorriqueños es servir a los turistas estadounidenses.

Pero lo más impactante es la prominencia con que se retrata la agricultura local. Se muestran imágenes de cañas de azúcar que se convierten en melaza para ron, campos donde se cosecha piña, plátanos que crecen en el bosque nacional El Yunque.…  Seguir leyendo »

En Sudáfrica, a muchas personas les resulta difícil acceder a comida saludable en cantidad suficiente. Por sus dietas con alto contenido de alimentos procesados, almidón refinado, azúcar y grasas, padecen una doble carga de malnutrición y obesidad, o lo que se denomina «hambre oculta». Es oculta porque no se corresponde con el estereotipo del hambre creado por la cobertura mediática de las hambrunas. Pero está por doquier.

Para hablar con claridad, el problema no es escasez de alimentos. El hambre en Sudáfrica es resultado de una falta de acceso a calorías suficientes y nutrientes adecuados, que depende en gran medida del nivel de ingresos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Durante la visita que les hice el mes pasado a mis padres en Bogotá, vi gente del vecindario pidiendo ayuda en la calle para sobrevivir. Desde finales de abril, Colombia experimentó una de las mayores olas de agitación social en tiempos recientes, y el hambre está en el centro de las protestas. Sudáfrica experimentó una conmoción similar en julio.

El aumento del hambre está creando volatilidad en muchos países, y agrava el devastador impacto social y económico de la pandemia de COVID‑19 y de la crisis climática. Según cifras recientes de Naciones Unidas, hoy padecen hambre 161 millones de personas más que antes de la pandemia, esto es, un total de 811 millones.…  Seguir leyendo »

Nuevas normas mundiales para un futuro alimentario más justo

Este año, los gobiernos tienen la oportunidad de garantizar que las mejoras en las normas internacionales nos ayuden a encarrilarnos y retomar el camino hacia un sistema de comercio agrícola más justo y sostenible, así como a superar los recientes reveses a nuestros esfuerzos por combatir el hambre y la desnutrición. La Cumbre de las Naciones Unidas sobre los Sistemas Alimentarios a celebrarse en septiembre, la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Clima (COP26) que se llevará a cabo en noviembre, y la Conferencia Ministerial de la Organización Mundial del Comercio que comenzará a finales de ese mismo mes brindan a los responsables de la formulación de políticas amplias oportunidades para cumplir con sus cometidos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Prabin Ranabhat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

La humanidad está derivando hacia un peligro creciente. El cambio climático se está acelerando, la biodiversidad se está reduciendo a pasos agigantados, el hambre y la extrema pobreza van en aumento, y se amplía la brecha entre ricos y pobres. Son tendencias que amenazan no solo a la salud y el sustento humanos, sino también a la paz y la estabilidad globales. Para revertirlas habrá que emprender un esfuerzo compartido para reconstruir, e incluso reformular, los sistemas de los que todos dependemos, comenzando con el sistema alimentario global.

Incluso antes de la pandemia, nuestros sistemas alimentarios estaban siendo perturbados por condiciones meteorológicas cada vez más graves y extremas, tales como las sequías, y por biodiversidad en declive.…  Seguir leyendo »

Farmers in Haryana, India, blocked part of an expressway on April 10 in protest of agricultural reform laws. (Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images)

It was more than six months ago that Indian farmers started protesting against three new laws pushed in unilaterally by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The laws aim to change the way agricultural markets operate. But, from the very beginning, the protests have not been only about the intricacies of those laws.

Farmers worry that through the new laws, the government will cut down its wheat and rice procurement. That system of procurement at minimum support prices (MSP) is critical for the livelihoods of farmers in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana in particular. It is farmers from these very states who are protesting.…  Seguir leyendo »

We are now well into the ninth straight month of strikes and protests by the farmers of India. My family are farmers, and have been for many generations, and my mother called me in distress last summer about the agricultural bills that were being passed in India.

She wasn't the only one who was hurting: These new laws would not only affect farmers, but the price of food and India's massive informal economy, which engages many millions.

Protests began on a small scale in June in Punjab when the government first rolled out its new agricultural policies. Demonstrations have grown exponentially since they were passed as laws on September 20.…  Seguir leyendo »

A farmer holds a hand up during a demonstration against recent agricultural reforms at a highway in Ghazipur on the outskirts of New Delhi on Saturday. (Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg News)

Rihanna may not have released new music in years, but her recent tweet on the ongoing farmers protests in India was music to the ears of human rights supporters around the globe.

Last week, the pop star and beauty mogul tweeted a CNN article about the Indian government shutting down the Internet in protest sites near the capital. She asked, “Why aren’t we talking about this?!” and used the hashtag #FarmersProtest, which has been the rallying cry for what started as a protest by Indian farmers against agriculture reform bills and has become one of the largest protests for economic and human rights in the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian advocates from Punjab state attend a sit-in protest near New Delhi on Wednesday. (Harish Tyagi/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Last week, as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewed soldiers parading through New Delhi to mark India’s 72nd Republic Day, a rally of farmers and their tractors turned violent mere miles away. Some protesters broke through concrete barriers and clouds of tear gas to enter the capital and march on the historic Red Fort, waving flags associated with Sikhism from its ramparts. Protest leaders quickly condemned the violence as the work of “anti-social elements.”

This week, the protests caught the attention of global notables including Rihanna and Greta Thunberg, who tweeted their support. Diljit Dosanjh, a popular Punjabi singer, released a ballad about Rihanna in appreciation.…  Seguir leyendo »

Farmer standing in his field in the agricultural landscape of Cotabato Province, Mindanao Island, the Philippines. Photo: Tessa Bunney/Contributor/Getty Images.

This paper explores the role of the global food system as the principal driver of accelerating biodiversity loss. It explains how food production is degrading or destroying natural habitats and contributing to species extinction. The paper outlines the challenges and trade-offs involved in redesigning food systems to restore biodiversity and/or prevent further biodiversity loss, and presents recommendations for action.

The paper introduces three ‘levers’ for reducing pressures on land and creating a more sustainable food system. The first is to change dietary patterns to reduce food demand and encourage more plant-based diets. The second is to protect and set aside land for nature, whether through re-establishing native ecosystems on spared farmland or integrating pockets of natural habitat into farmland.…  Seguir leyendo »

A farmer stands next to police barricades along a blocked highway as farmers continue to protest the central government's recent agricultural reforms on Feb. 2. (Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

“This flag is our life, it’s drawn from the blood and toil of our ancestors,” a farmer from Punjab told me, pointing to the Indian tricolor fluttering from the corner of his tractor as it joined a cavalcade of thousands on the morning of India’s Republic Day on Jan. 26. I hung on precariously, one foot in the air, one arm clasping the tractor’s overheated emission rod, as we rolled through a sea of people. It was a protest march, but the atmosphere was joyous. After two months of demonstrating at the capital’s borders against new legislation that farmers say will hand over the agriculture industry to oligarchs, the protesters finally had permission to cross the city limits and enter Delhi.…  Seguir leyendo »

Manifestantes indios de diferentes sindicatos y diferentes organizaciones de agricultores asisten a una protesta contra el primer ministro indio Narendra Modi y las nuevas leyes agrícolas, en Bangalore, India, el 26 de enero de 2021.JAGADEESH NV / EFE

Durante la instauración de la democracia en India a partir de 1947, el partido del Congreso quedó a cargo del desarrollo nacional del subcontinente, así como de intentar reducir las brechas que la administración colonial había ahondado. Desde entonces y hasta el 2020, la agricultura ha sido coordinada por el Gobierno central, quien además respalda la implementación de las políticas propias de los gobiernos estatales.

El sistema ha demostrado tener deficiencias que perjudican a los hombres y las mujeres que se dedican a los cultivos, siendo este trabajo altamente invisibilizado. Aún así, en algunos casos se disponía de subvenciones para el suministro eléctrico y un precio de apoyo mínimo para los productos que los agricultores vendían en los mercados estatales (mandis), donde eran adquiridos por terceras partes.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tens of thousands of farmers marched to New Delhi protesting new agricultural laws and clashed with police on Tuesday. (Altaf Qadri/AP)

On Tuesday, as India celebrated its 72nd Republic Day — a day meant to honor the Constitution that came into effect in 1950 — the country was once again reminded of how far we have strayed from the commitment to protect the fundamental rights of all citizens under the Hindu nationalist administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Clashes broke out in New Delhi between the police and farmers who have been protesting for almost two months against three new agricultural laws that they consider a threat to their livelihoods and very existence. The farmers — mainly from Punjab and Haryana — have been camping out in the bitter cold just outside the capital, but on Tuesday, they decided to drive their tractors into the city as part of a large rally to make their voices heard.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian farmers protesting new farm laws outside New Delhi. Credit Altaf Qadri/Associated Press

Despite rain and cold, tens of thousands of angry farmers have been camping on the borders of New Delhi for six weeks. In late September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government hurriedly passed a set of new farm laws in the Indian Parliament. Soon after, protests started in the northern Indian states of Punjab and Haryana, which constitute 3 percent of the country’s land area but produce close to 50 percent of its surplus of rice and wheat.

With the government largely ignoring the protests so long as they were largely confined to Punjab, the farmers headed to Delhi at the end of November.…  Seguir leyendo »

Que viva la bio-revolución

En noviembre, el Programa Mundial de Alimentos de las Naciones Unidas y la Organización Internacional para las Migraciones advirtieron sobre una amenaza “sin precedentes” a la seguridad alimentaria generada por el COVID-19. El daño colateral de la pandemia podría resultar aún peor que la propia enfermedad.

La mayoría de las principales instituciones internacionales interesadas en la seguridad alimentaria ahora han exigido que se tomen medidas para prevenir futuros brotes de enfermedades infecciosas, y para hacer que los sistemas alimentarios sean más resistentes a las crisis. Debemos incorporar la innovación biológica en nuestro pensamiento mientras nos esforzamos por cumplir con el doble desafío de alimentar a una población creciente y gestionar la sustentabilidad de los recursos naturales.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tens of thousands of farmers have marched to the Indian capital of New Delhi from neighboring states to protest new legislation that hurts small farmers and benefits large corporations.

Police unleashed tear gas and water cannons to halt the march, and last weekend protesters blocking major roads leading into New Delhi were met with hundreds of police and paramilitary forces. One senior police official alleged that the protestors pelted police with stones and damaged property, but even if this is true, the heavy-handed response by police is disproportionate.

The current situation may feel like déjà vu to those familiar with modern Indian politics.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian farmers gathered to support the ongoing protest against new agricultural laws. (Jagadeesh Nv/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

“I am ready to stay here for 8 months, if I have to,'' Kartar Singh said, his voice roaring with passion. Singh is one of tens of thousands of farmers who have been protesting at the borders of India’s capital against the government’s new farm legislations.

He pulled out a tiny finger-sized photograph from the pocket of his mud-soiled kurta (the Punjabi word for shirt). “Look at this,” he said excitedly, “This is my son. He works for the army and right now he is on duty at the border with China. We are all patriots here. We are ready to die for our country.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Farmers listen to a speaker on a blocked highway during their protest against recently passed farm bills, at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border in Ghaziabad, India, on Monday. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Can farmers marching to Delhi in the midst of a global pandemic restore Indian democracy?

On Nov. 26, tens of thousands of farmers from the northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan began marching to Delhi with a cry — “Delhi chalo” (“Go to Delhi”). The peaceful protesters faced a militarized police force at the Punjab-Haryana and Haryana-Delhi borders. Marchers were met with tear gas, batons and water cannons. Police even used trenches, barbed wire and barricades to stop the farmers.

Yet, after two days of marching, the farmers entered Delhi and secured a meeting with the central government.…  Seguir leyendo »