Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Major Indian farm union cautions government over China-backed trade deal


Reuters Report 
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A leading Indian farmers’ organisation on Wednesday warned the government against joining a major 16-member Asia-Pacific trade pact that the union fears could spur imports of cheaper produce, undermining its agricultural sector.

A team of top Indian government officials will be in Beijing between Aug. 2 and 3 to negotiate the terms of the China-initiated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that has been held up by disputes between Beijing and New Delhi over access to markets and protected lists of goods.

Indian farmers believe that the pact will force India to cut tariffs on farm goods, leading to imports of cheaper products such as dairy into the country where agriculture is still the mainstay for its 1.3 billion people.

“Representatives of all prominent farmers’ unions in India have unanimously rejected the RCEP,” Yudhvir Singh of Bhartiya Kisan Union, or Indian Farmers’ Union, which represents millions of farmers across the country, told a news conference.

India’s dairy farmers are especially vulnerable, he said, fearing potentially low tariffs on milk and milk products would lead to a glut on the local market and a collapse in prices.

India is the world’s biggest milk producer and its dairy industry provides critical revenue to farmers especially during poor crop years. Indian farmers earn more money from the sale of milk than from wheat and rice combined.

About 80 million Indian rural households are engaged in milk production which provides livelihood to poor and small farmers, according to official estimates.

Farmers complained that joining the RCEP would encourage foreign dairy producers like New Zealand’s Fonterra, the world’s biggest dairy exporter, to dump their surplus dairy products in India.

“We have written a letter to the trade minister but so far there is no assurance from the government,” said Dharmendra Malik, a farm leader from Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state.

Several other industry groups in India such as steel, engineering and auto makers have opposed New Delhi’s participation in the RCEP, citing the threat of cheaper imports from China.

Negotiations began in 2012 for RCEP, which envisions the creation of a free trade zone that will encompass 45% of the world’s population and more than a third of its gross domestic product, but does not involve the United States.


Reuters reported on 31st July, Read the full report here

Keep agriculture and dairy out of RCEP negotiations, major farmers union tells government


PRESS RELEASE
INDIAN COORDINATION COMMITTEE OF FARMERS’ MOVEMENTS

Keep agriculture and dairy out of RCEP negotiations, farmers’ body tells government 



The RCEP will destroy farm livelihoods, especially in the domestic dairy sector. 


31 July, New Delhi: Representatives of all prominent farmers’ unions in India have unanimously rejected the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), warning that the mega-trade agreement threatens farm livelihoods, autonomy over seeds and also endangering the country’s self-sufficient dairy sector.
At a press conference in Delhi today, farmers’ leaders warned the government not to bow down to pressure from the 16 other negotiating countries like China, New Zealand, Australia and ASEAN who are eager to close the deal, that only stands to benefit large agribusinesses in these countries.
RCEP will increase the benefits of trading partners because of India’s massive market, while India will lose revenues of up to 60,000 crores if the deal is fully implemented”, said Yudhvir Singh of Bhartiya Kisan Union.

RCEP would force India to remove tariffs on 92% of traded commodities. India has already lost 26,000 crores of revenue in 2018-2019 by allowing cheap imports from the ASEAN bloc with which India has an existing free trade deal.

Dairy brings daily cash to our marginal and small farmers, a large majority of them women. India is already self-sufficient in dairy. But through RCEP, foreign players like Fonterra, Danone, want to dump their surplus into our country. Why should we import what we don’t need? What about our poor farmers' livelihoods?” asked Rakesh Tikait, from Bharatiya Kisan Union.
India’s mostly unorganized dairy sector currently provides livelihoods to over 150 million people. Projections by Niti Ayog upto 2033 show that India’s national dairy supply will reach 330 mt, beating the national demand of 292 mt, thus negating any needs for additional imports.[2]
New Zealand is spreading half-truth when they claim that only an insignificant 5% of its dairy exports are destined for India. But this 5% still amounts to a large loss for our domestic producers! We will lose that much to one country alone, and imagine the danger if we add up others” said Sellamuttu of Tamila Vyavasaigal Sangam of Tamil Nadu.
RCEP is more threatening than other trade regimes like the World Trade Organization. While India has been resisting tariff cuts to only 80% of traded goods as compared to 92 % demanded in RCEP, India will not be able to raise duties at a later date – a provision that even the WTO did not impose, putting serious restrictions on India’s ability to protect its farmers and workers' livelihoods.
Aside from dairy, RCEP will also give more concessions to foreign players in critical areas like seeds and patents. An important concern about RCEP is the demand from member countries, especially Japan and South Korea, for ‘TRIPS-plus’ intellectual property (IP) protection for seeds, medicines, and agrochemicals. This will be disastrous for Indian farmers because the country is under pressure to accede to the 1991 International Union for the Protection of New Plant Varieties Convention (UPOV) and comply with its standards. UPOV is a system of seed patenting that undermines farmers’ rights, gives primacy to corporate plant breeders and restricts freedom of researchers and breeders to access protected plant varieties for further research and development.
The manufacturing sector is also under serious threat. Farmers warned of national protests if agriculture was not taken out of RCEP.
The RCEP would be the largest FTA in terms of population, it would reach 49% of the global population and will encompass 40% of all global trade making up a third of the global GDP.

Contact
Yudhvir Singh BKU - 9899435968
S Kanniayan, – 9444989543
Dharmendra, BKU – 9219691168


NOTES


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

OPINION: Adoption of the Peasant’s Rights Declaration enriches the human rights system



The approval and adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas represent a historic event for the international human rights system itself, as well as for the peasant communities of the world. This has been a 17-year struggle on the part of La Via Campesina, which, along with allies, has managed to galvanize debate within the United Nations on the role and circumstances of the peasantry.

In full neoliberal offensive, at the end of the 1990s, financial capital wrapped its tentacles even more tightly around the countryside, and the commercialization and financialization of agriculture resulted in dispossession and evictions, an increase in violence and the persecution of peasant communities, the privatization of seeds, slave labour, the destruction of local markets and an increase in hunger and migration, the destruction of nature and pollution, among other scourges.

This neoliberal onslaught deepened the mechanisms of the Green Revolution, increasing its capacity for hoarding and destruction, hand in hand with transgenic technology associated with the massive use of agrotoxics. The only objective: huge profits for transnational companies, but at the cost of serious consequences for humanity.

In the countryside, the concentration and privatization of land, insecure and slave labour, pollution with agrotoxics, and the destruction of millions of hectares of native jungle and forest have increased. As this process progressed, resistance in the countryside grew, which brought along with it the persecution and criminalization of peasants. Violence in the countryside is an element that sustains agribusiness; peasants are murdered and imprisoned, and the reallocation of public resources to agribusiness deprives peasants of access to credit and markets.

Neoliberal propaganda included the idea of the end of history as part of its attempt to depoliticize society.  In the agricultural sphere, the “End of the Peasantry” theory was launched, suggesting that peasant families would disappear, and that only agribusiness was capable of feeding humanity.

In the field of international governance, the international neoliberal lobby promoted new institutions, treaties and agreements that constructed a framework of jurisprudence, which, instead of being anchored in human rights and democracy, is based on the Freedom of financial capital and the shielding of companies from the resistance and struggle of the people. A clear example is the UPOV (International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants), which is responsible for legitimizing the appropriation of traditional, hereditary knowledge.

Peasant organizations resisted in every corner of the world. The establishment of La Via Campesina exists in this context, bringing to light the struggle for land and against the World Trade Organization (WTO) and free market policies, which have opened the door to corporations on every continent.

As industrial agriculture develops, the global food crisis, as well as the climate crisis, become even more severe. Faced with this situation, La Via Campesina, as well as giving a voice to the resistance, systematizes its proposals and its outlook to give hope. Not only is this not the end of the peasantry, but, on the contrary, the peasantry is part of the possible solution to the crises caused by the capital accumulation dynamics. This is how the debate on food sovereignty began, and the Global Campaign for Agrarian Reform was launched. These debates burst onto the scene of the United Nations World Food Security Council in 1996. The idea was put forward that into order to solve the food crisis, the development and strengthening of peasant and local agriculture is a necessary, and to achieve this, land must be democratized.

In this way, the discussion on peasant rights has always gone hand in hand with proposals on the agrarian policy necessary to overcome the food crisis.

In 2001, an international congress on peasant rights was held in Indonesia, which was coordinated by the Peasant Union of Indonesia (SPI), and in which the need to build a declaration on peasant rights within the United Nations was raised for the first time.

In 2003, at the 4th International Conference of LVC, which was held in Sao Paulo, Brasil, the final declaration stated that: “We will acquire a new commitment to driving the fight for Human and Peasant Rights. As international peasant organizations, we will develop an International Charter of Peasant Rights”. Between 2004 and 2006, together with CETIM and FIAN, paradigmatic cases of violations of peasant rights were verified and documented on all continents.

Intense work in the Human Rights Council

In June 2008, the International Conference on Peasant Rights took place in Jakarta, with the participation of more than a hundred representatives from the organizations that make up La Via Campesina all over the world, and of more than a thousand members of SPI; in the same year, in October, the 5th International Conference of La Via Campesina, held in Mozambique, approved the Charter of Peasant Rights. Propelled by the support of thousands of local struggles, and hundreds of reports documenting violations in rural communities, the challenge began in the United Nations.

This charter, that would later be the starting point for the Declaration, was born directly from the experiences and struggles of peasants all over the world. Because of this, we affirm that the Declaration is a direct representation of this reality and its recognition by the UN.

In 2012, after much hard work, the UN Human Rights Council resolved to create an Intergovernmental Working Group, the mission of which would be to propose to the Council a text declaring the rights of peasants. This Group was chaired by the Plurinational State of Bolivia, supported by South Africa and the Philippines in coordination. Since then, a group of experts has carried out a study on the situation and proposed a text based on the charter of La Via Campesina, adapting the language to the standards of the United Nations.

Bolivia guaranteed a transparent and participatory process in the Council. Over six years, five drafts were modified after each session, taking into account the contributions of States and civil society, the latter of which actively aligned itself with the process, represented by organizations of peasants, artisanal fishers, pastoralists, agrarian workers, indigenous peoples and human rights (HR) organizations, who actively participated with their proposals.

During 2013 and 2014, the debate was taken to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where CLOC LVC, together with FIAN and CELS presented reports on the relationship between the violation of peasant rights in the region and transnational corporations.

On 28 September 2018, the Human Rights Council adopted the declaration, which was voted in by a comfortable margin, and which represented, without a doubt, an important step forward on the part of the human rights system from a pluricultural and humanist perspective. The official report presenting the definitive text highlighted the urgent call of the United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore, to finalize work on the draft Declaration, “in order to respond to more than a billion people who live in rural areas and who provide a significant proportion of the world’s food”. The report also underlined the support of FAO for the Declaration, considering that it will contribute to the zero-hunger objective and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, helping these people to achieve their potential to overcome the challenges that they face in their day-to-day life.

This process sparked various debates within the United Nations; firstly, on the recognition of the peasantry as a significant, worldwide class, who suffer systematic violations of their rights, and secondly, whether the interests of human rights or the corporate interests of transnationals should take precedence. In this regard, the answer of the Human Rights Council was unmistakeable: Human Rights should prevail, and this Declaration is an essential instrument to allow the establishment of standards and policies in the countryside that guarantee the rights of peasants. The perspective of collective human rights is also an important part of the pluricultural worldview of the system.

Since the beginning, the process was supported by the Latin American integration process, with CELAC itself backing it, as well as GRULAC (Group of Latin American Countries in the United Nations); the G77 later added their support, paving the way for Asia and Africa, where it also received widespread endorsement. As expected, the countries that are most subservient to the interests of transnationals, and that are most imperialistic and colonialist, opposed the process from the beginning: the USA, the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan and most of the European Union were unwavering in their negative position.

However, in December 2018, and by a broad majority, the United Nations General Assembly approved and adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.

Brazil and Argentina had given their support throughout the process, but when Macri and Bolsonaro came to power, they moved to abstain; conversely, Mexico, which had expressed misgivings, voted in favour after Andres Manel López Obrador was elected President.

The adoption of the Declaration puts an end to the neoliberal idea of the “end of the peasantry” and strongly calls upon States not just to recognise peasants’ identity, but also their role, and to work to put an end to violations of their rights. This takes place in the context of serious global rural violence, with extreme situations such as that of Colombia, in which, in 2018, 105 peasant leaders and 44 indigenous leaders were killed, or that of Brazil, where in 2017, 71 peasants were killed as a result of land or environmental conflicts.

According to the ETC Group, peasant agriculture makes use of only a quarter of world’s farmland, but feeds more than 75% of the world population, while agroindustry, subservient to financial capital, feeds only 25% of the population with three quarters of the farmland.

Guaranteeing the survival of the peasant lifestyle and mode of production is strategic for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and the process coincides with the launch of the Decade for Family Farming, reaffirming the importance of the topic in this context.

Peasant rights and States’ obligations

In its Preamble and 28 articles, the Declaration establishes the rights of peasants and the obligations of States; the text is an essential overview for the planning and renewal of global agrarian policy at all levels.

Elements to be underlined:

Article 15 stresses that: “Peasants have the right to define their own food production systems, this being recognised by many States and regions as the right to food sovereignty”. Thus, the United Nations recognises and backs the policy proposal that La Via Campesina introduced in 1996 into the debates of the United Nations Food Security Council regarding how to tackle the food crisis, which affects more than a billion people all over the world.

Article 16 establishes that: “States will take appropriate measures to strengthen and support local, national and regional markets in ways that facilitate and guarantee that peasants and other people working in rural areas have access to these markets and participate fully in them under equal conditions in order to sell their products at prices that allow them and their families to reach a decent standard of living”. The importance of state intervention to guarantee fair prices and a decent income is underlined. In Argentina, the price difference between what the peasant receives and what the consumer pays is between 500 and 1600%, a situation that can only be resolved with public policies that intervene in defence of producers and consumers.

Article 17 states that: “Peasants and other people living in rural areas have rights to the land, either individually or collectively (…) and in particular, they have the right to access the land, bodies of water and forests, as well as to use them and manage them sustainably in order to reach decent living standards and to have a place in which they can live safely and securely, in peace and with dignity, and in which to develop their culture” and it recommends to States “Agrarian Reform, to facilitate fair access to the Land and its social function, avoiding the concentration of land”.

This article is vital in the current context of land concentration and land grabbing. In Latin America, half of all land is concentrated in the hands of 1% of landholders, and this region has the most unequal land distribution on the planet: the Gini coefficient – which measures inequality, with 0 for complete equality and 1 for extreme inequality – applied to the land distribution in the continent is 0.79, much higher than in Europe (0.57), Africa (0.56) or Asia (0.55).

According to OXFAM, in Argentina, 83% of Agricultural Productive Units possess only 13.3% of the productive land. According to another study, Family Farming represents two-thirds of producers, but these only have access to 13.5% of the farmland. In 2014, the Argentinian Government carried out a case study on peasant land conflict: as a result, 752 cases involving more than 9 million hectares in conflict were found.

Land concentration is a structural barrier to the development of a nation and peasants’ full enjoyment of their rights.

Article 19 states that: “Peasants have the right to seeds (…) The right to protect their traditional knowledge relating to phylogenetic resources for food and agriculture; (…) The right to participate in decision-making on issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of phylogenetic resources for food and agriculture”.  Faced with the permanent advance of transnationals in the appropriation of genetic material and strong pressure for seed laws that support it among outrage, this article takes on a particular significance.

Another troubling recent piece of information concerns agrotoxics. The massive use of agrochemicals causes the death by poisoning of around 200,000 people a year all over the world according to a Report from the Special Rapporteur on the right to food. According to the Pan-American Health Organization, in 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, poisoning by agrochemical products causes 15% of recorded deaths.

In Argentina, reports from SENASA show that between 2011 and 2013, 63% of tests conducted on fruit and vegetables on the market detected the presence of chemical residue. This data highlights the limitations to the right to health and to a healthy environment and food set forth in the Declaration.

The adoption of the Declaration enriches the human rights system, managing to place the democratic debate between States before the lobby and interests of capital, updating the system from a pluricultural perspective and respecting the billions of people who consider collective rights essential for the enjoyment of individual rights.

New challenges

We are now entering a stage of new challenges, in which we hope that the Declaration will be a tool for peasant struggles. For this reason, we must work to allow peasant organizations to make the Declaration their own, making their voice heard by academics, trade unions, lawmakers and officials so that the Declaration can be adopted at the local, provincial and national levels, as well as becoming an instrument for dialogue between organizations and States in order to move towards new legislation that translates States’ obligations into suitable agrarian policies. The Declaration will also be an important contribution to the legal aspect of agrarian conflicts.

By bringing the Declaration to all corners of the world, we will move forward in a process of greater global advocacy, as possibilities are emerging for new mechanisms for the promotion and monitoring of the Declaration within the United Nations, as well as the future prospect of building an International Convention on the Rights of Peasants.

In the current context of the global crisis of capitalism, in which American imperialism cannot resign itself to losing parts of the market and seeks to deepen its ties to Latin America, the respect of the rights of peasants will only be possible if we manage to express our extensive and continuous struggles. The Declaration that we achieved in the United Nations is also a tool for grassroots work, social unrest and the organization of peasants all over the world, as well as to allow us to express ourselves for the unity and political education of peasant leaders.

To be effective, peasant rights require Agrarian Reform throughout the world that guarantees Peasant Agriculture and Agroecology in order to reach Food Sovereignty, which is vital for justice and world peace; therefore, we reaffirm that this Declaration, with strong humanist contents, represents a great step forward for global governance and the peoples of the world. Far from being the “end of the peasantry”, we reaffirm that peasants are main actors in the struggles for social justice all over the world, and an undisputed part of the solution to the food crisis and migration, which are caused and worsened by financial capital and agribusiness.

– Diego Montón, International Peasants’ Rights Collective, La Via Campesina.

Reblogged from viacampesina.org/en

La Via Campesina: 2018 Annual report


Title: La Via Campesina – 2018 Annual report

Year: June 2019

Language: English (also available in French and Spanish)

Summary: The 2018 Annual Report highlights the selected activities and the advances made during the year towards strengthening the international movement. The year 2018 ended on a truly special and historic note with the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly held in New York. This is the culmination of a two-decade long mobilization and lobbying effort led by peasants supported by allies and many other social movements. While the year ended on a high note, 2018 also presented several difficult moments: Right-wing populism and fascism increased, so did violent repression and hate speech also on social media; worsening climate change effects etc. Internally, we made a major effort to not only to build a different and just society but to transform the organizational structure and internal functioning of La Via Campesina and to end all forms of violence against women everywhere. Two new internal collectives on training and communication were established to imagine and strategize how to effectively coordinate and support popular struggles and make peasants more conscious of their culture, dignity, interests and capacities to change and transform the society.

Edition: La Via Campesina

Monday, July 15, 2019

India : Major Farmer Unions Resolve Collectively To Uphold Farmers’ Seed Rights

New Delhi : In a press release issued today, prominent farmer leaders of India have cautioned the government that if it does not take strong action to stop illegal GM crop cultivation, they would be forced to take up country-wide agitations. Releasing a letter written to the apex regulatory body for gene technologies, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), they demanded that the event developer be made legally liable for any illegal GM crop cultivation in the country.

“We will strongly resist any move to bring in GM crops into the country, including through illegal cultivation, as was the case with Bt cotton in India. This is a clear case where government has to take a sane policy decision, using a precautionary approach and ensure that GMOs do not jeopardise our environmental sustainability, or farmer livelihoods or consumer health”, said Yudhvir Singh of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU).

Read the press release here.

Monday, July 8, 2019

South Asian Peasant movements meet in Kathmandu, Nepal


All Nepal Peasants Federation (ANPFa) hosted the regional meeting of La Via Campesina South Asia in Kathmandu from 01 July to 04 July. The meeting was attended by the member organizations, observers and ally groups. Members from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India took part in the 3-day long meeting making a collective commitment to unify the struggles in the region to realize food sovereignty and to also strengthen the solidarity across the region. This important meeting also realized the need for gender equality and training of next-generation youth to carry forward the fight for food sovereignty.

In the context of Nepal, the movement for food sovereignty and agrarian reform is particularly relevant, Nepal is one of the handfuls of countries that have recognized food sovereignty as a people’s right in its constitution. A highly diverse country with rich cultural heritage, which is in its first decades of democracy, Nepal is a landlocked hilly country where the ravages of agribusiness have not penetrated very deeply. After fighting against the monarchy, Nepal’s people are in the process of constructing a democracy. However, many acute crises such as high levels of migration of young people, agricultural land fragmentation, political volatility, natural disasters, and a struggling economy are still big challenges to overcome for the people.


On, the opening day, all the attending members observed a minute of silence in the memory of farmers martyrs who gave up their lives fighting for farmers’ issues. The meeting was inaugurated by comrade Bamdev Gautam, the chair of All Nepal Peasants Association. He revisited the history of peasant struggles in Nepal and spoke about its achievements and challenges ahead for the peasants of Nepal. He remembered the role of La Via Campesina in the historical struggle for democracy in Nepal and emphasized the importance of internationalism among peasant organizations and activists. Chukki Nanjundaswamy, Shanta Manabi and Yudhvir Singh, the Ex-ICC members and Balaram Banskota, senior leader of ANPFa spoke about the historical struggle and birth of La Via Campesina. They gave a historical analysis of the South Asian region, remembering the days of the emergence of Via Campesina in the South Asian region.

On day one, the first half of the day was spent reflecting on the national and regional context, it was evident that the agrarian crisis has aggravated affecting millions of farmers and farm workers households in the subcontinent. All the speakers expressed concerns about rising fundamentalism, the rise of fascist governments in the region and made a collective commitment to denounce and carry forward the fight for a just and equitable society. The governments backed by neo-liberal and corporate regimes have become least interested in responding to the problems of peasants. It was noted that drought, market failure, farmer suicides, and land grabbing as the common problems faced by the peasants. The recent bomb attacks in Srilanka was condemned by all the members and reinstated their solidarity for the people of Srilanka.

La Via Campesina - South Asia
about 2 weeks ago
Regional Meeting of La Via Campesina South Asia hosted by All Nepal Peasants' Federation-ANPFa started today in Kathmandu.
L’image contient peut-être : 2 personnes, personnes souriantes, personnes debout
L’image contient peut-être : 3 personnes, personnes assises et intérieur
L’image contient peut-être : 1 personne, assis et intérieur
L’image contient peut-être : 1 personne, assis, boisson et intérieur
+5

The second half of the first day was spent reviewing the agitations and campaigns carried out by each of the individual members to advance the struggles for justice. The meeting discussed the issues ranging from the deepening crisis of agrarian distress and water shortage, that has led to severe problems for farmers and farmworkers in India, the struggle of tenant farmers against the brutal criminalization by the Military in Pakistan, the fight against the uprising communalism and fight to secure dignified wages for plantation workers under the Thousand Movement in Srilanka and to the fight in Bangladesh against the commercial release of Golden rice.

On the second day, Afsar Jafri, policy analyst and researcher with GRAIN, presided over his presentation where he discussed the Common struggles of farming in South Asia. He identified the common threats for peasant farming and gave an in-depth analysis of the repeated attempt by multinational corporations and governments to capture the land, seeds, natural resources, and local peasant markets through the creation and amendment of laws and through attempts to harmonize these laws across the South Asia region. These efforts of harmonization would allow big multinationals to enter the market. So far the peasant movements in the regions have been resisting these attempts but the global forces of capital are making big strides in the region. The big mergers in Agribusiness, FTAs, and RCEP that threatens to destruct the sovereignty of nations was also noted with much concern.

A considerable amount of time was also spent in reviewing the several international processes – such as the ongoing decade of family farming, the discussions going at the Civil Society Mechanism within the FAO, the resistances against introducing new GM technologies, climate-smart agriculture and more. The delegates following important collective processes such as Agroecology, seeds and biodiversity, Migration, Trade presented the proceedings and results of internal consultations and meetings. It was reiterated and agreed by all the members that the reports and actions from these International processes should be translated to work at the regional level and it must be disseminated to the grassroots. The members present met as four separate working groups to discuss strengthening the work of Internal Collectives. They came up with assessments and reflections of the work carried out on various themes under collectives, they also identified the relevant collective work that is important for the South Asia region. The members also proposed a new regional working collective on the alternative economy.

The women members of South Asia also held a side meeting where they discussed the updates from the International articulation and meetings. The women decided to assert their rightful representation and they decided to voice out for the gender parity starting from their member organizations and work towards ensuring gender balance at all the regional level meetings.

The youth members had a brief brainstorming session to discuss their issues. The decisions were taken to create equal representation at all levels of the movement and to ensure that younger people are trained politically to take forward the several inter-regional and inter-continental struggles forward, within and outside the movement.

On the third day, a training seminar was organized on the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP). Professor Ravivarma Kumar, a senior advocate of Supreme court and Mr.Afsar Jafri presented on the UNDROP. They discussed the historical struggle of Via Campesina in achieving victory to realize this Declaration at the UN level.

Prof Ravivarma gave detailed legal insights into the Declaration. Member organizations realized the need to popularise this Declaration and use it in all the struggles. The member organizations also committed to translate the Declaration into local languages and to organize training on UNDROP.

On the last day, the participants went on a field visit to see the initiatives carried out by farmers of ANPFa. They visited agriculture cooperative setup by ANPFa and run by farmers of Chautara Sangachokgadhi village in Sindhupalchok. Also, they visited the collective organic vegetable farm run by the women's group of ANPFa in Kathmandu.