Tag Archives: farmers

India News | Farmers

Internet blockages and hunger strike mark continuing conflict between Indian farmers and government

  • Tensions between farmers and the government have continued as encampments of tens of thousands, tractor parades, clashes with police, and a recently organized hunger strike have unfolded across the country, from New Delhi to Ghazipur.
  • The interior ministry announced that internet services on the outskirts of New Delhi had been temporarily suspended as protesting farmers continued to flock to the capital from around the country.
  • After a Sikh protester unfurled a religious flag during Republic Day clashes, pro-government media seized on the spectacle to deride the protests, and anti-Sikh sentiment has begun to disrupt—at least in part—popular support for the protesters.
  • Since November, the farmers’ movement has been protesting economic reforms that they argue benefit large agribusiness firms and private buyers over smaller producers, endangering their already precarious livelihoods.

Read

Farmers protest: Here are the top developments of the day” (The Indian Express | January 2021)

Indian farmers begin hunger strike amid fury against Modi” (The Associated Press | January 2021)

In Delhi, public support for protesting farmers is giving way to anti-Sikh prejudice” (Scroll.in | January 2021)

Farm bills: Are India’s new reforms a ‘death warrant’ for farmers?” (BBC News | September 2020)

Study

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 (PRS Legislative Research)

The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020 (PRS Legislative Research)

The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (PRS Legislative Research)

Kazakhstan News | Citizens

Suspicion of land privatization policies erupts into rare protests across Kazakhstan
  • Despite the Kazakhstani government’s low tolerance for dissent, thousands rallied across the cities of Aqtobe, Semei, and Atyrau to protest proposed land privatization policies that will put 1.7 million hectares of public land up for auction beginning on July 1.
  • Kazakhstanis have expressed concern that land will be sold to foreigners (particularly the Chinese) or will end up in the hands of the elite, inflected by centuries of redrawn borders that have seen ethnic Kazakhs divided between Kazakhstan, Russia, and China.
  • Government officials have stated that the legislation only extends the foreign lease period cap from 10 to 25 years foreigners and have threatened to punish those who say otherwise.

Read more:
Kazakhstan’s land reform protests explained” (BBC)
Protesters In Kazakhstan Rally Against Land-Privatization Plan” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)
Land Sales Unearth Kazakhs’ Love For The Motherland” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

(Image Credit: Sania Tolken/RFE-RL)

Peru Feature | Farmers

Big Victory for a Small Farmer in Peru

Peruvian Máxima Acuña de Chaupe may have seemed like an unlikely agent for the deterrence of a major international company’s mining project, but the 47-year-old farmer and mother of four was able to halt U.S.-based Newmont and Peru-based Buenaventura’s joint development of a mine on her 60-acre farm with the help of social media and international organizations. Despite physical violence, arson, lawsuits, and fines, Acuña fought to stop the expropriation of her land and stave off eviction attempts that began back in 2011. A recipient of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize, Acuña has brought global attention to ongoing rights battles as private development encroaches upon territory small, often poor farmers depend on for their livelihoods. The Guardian and El País have profiled Acuña and the centrality of international solidarity in efforts to protect land and environmental rights.

“No sé si la situación se calmará, voy a seguir defendiendo mi tierra, tengo fe y seguiré pidiendo justicia.”

Translation: “I don’t know if the situation will calm down, I’m going to keep defending my land, I have faith and will continue demanding justice.”

Read:
Peruvian farmer wins David-and-Goliath battle against US mining giant” (The Guardian)
La vuelta a la lucha de Máxima Acuña” (El País, in Spanish)

Additional:
Máxima Acuña: Goldman Environment recipient (The Goldman Environmental Prize)
Peru’s Goldman Prize Winner Maxima Acuña’s Life is in Danger” (teleSUR English)

(Image Credit: Goldman Environmental Prize, via The Guardian)

Brazil News | Farmers & Indigenous

Increasing violence plagues Brazilian land rights activists
  • After 50 died in 2015, at least six activists were killed in the first two months of 2016 as land rights groups report increased intimidation, criminalization, and violence committed against them.
  • Activists have sought reform to protect the at times conflicting land rights of small farmers and indigenous communities, particularly in rural states.
  • Brazil has some of the highest land-proprietary inequality in the world, with 1% of the population owning nearly 50% of the land and single families subject to payments from as many as tens of thousands of property owners thanks to a colonial-era law.

Read more:
Brazil land activists facing ‘increased intimidation’ with six killings in 2016” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Indigenous Continue to Face Violence in Reclaiming Territory in Brazil” (Indian Country Today)
Journalist survives shooting at his home in northwestern Brazil” (Journalism in the Americas)

Additional reading:
For Brazil’s 1 Percenters, The Land Stays In The Family Forever” (NPR, August 2015)