Agriculture

Organised under the banners of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU) of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), thousands of farmers began marching from Singur towards Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, on November 27.

The march culminated in front of Governor Raj Bhavan’s house the next day to demand cultivable lands be returned to the farmers.

Humans experience the brutality of capitalism in wars, harsh working conditions and widespread poverty caused by a class-based society. Every minute a child dies a preventable death.

Capitalism has also been waging a war on animals.

Shockwaves were sent around the world when fascist candidate Jair Bolsonaro won 55% in the second round in Brazil’s presidential elections on October 28, defeating Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT).

We don’t need to pray for rain, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested, we need to take serious climate action now, was the blunt message farmers delivered to federal parliament on September 10. 

The farmers said the drought gripping NSW and Queensland had to be a wake-up call for politicians to take climate change seriously.

They also raised concerns that the Coalition government is attempting to stymie the development of wind power, which provides income for farmers and rural communities when agricultural income falls.

After decades of successfully avoiding responsibility for the consequences of its glyphosate herbicide, Monsanto has been ordered to pay US$39 million to cancer sufferer Dewayne Johnson by a San Francisco court, writes Alan Broughton.

Monsanto was also fined $250 million. This is the first of about 8000 such cases pending in the United States. Shareholders in Bayer, the huge German chemical company that purchased Monsanto in June for $60 billion, lost 10 billion euros as a consequence.

Venezuela’s campesino marchers achieved their immediate objective on August 2 by holding a public meeting with President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas that was nationally televised. They presented proposals for far-reaching reforms to state agrarian policies and institutions.

Rural Australia is again reeling from drought. Elena Garcia, a regenerative grazier and land manager, argues that governments will continue to fail farmers as long as they refuse to acknowledge the underlying cause — climate change.

Farmers cannot get the dole. However, if they are drought declared they and their partners can apply for the Farm Household Allowance (FHA). This has just been increased from a maximum of three to four cumulative years out of every seven, no matter how long the drought lasts.

The Clean Water manifesto was drafted following recent discussions at an anti-CSG workshop in Chinchilla and online among a number of farmers.

A large contingent of Venezuelan campesinos marched across the country for almost three weeks in what they called the “Admirable Campesino March” to raise awareness about the many problems faced by small farmers, including evictions, harassment and general neglect at the hands of government institutions.

The marchers, who first set off on July 12 from the city of Guanare, Portuguesa state, arrived in Caracas on August 1 with the plan to deliver a collective document that presents both their complaints and proposals to President Nicolas Maduro.

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