Blog

The blog is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

Traders, farmers, workers and citizens groups decry green-light to Walmart-Flipkart deal – Call on Quit India day for joint struggle against foreign e-commerce

The Joint Action Committee Against Foreign Retail and E-commerce greatly condemns the go-head to Walmart’s takeover of Flipkart by the Competition Commission of India. Flipkart indulges in gross and widely-reported violations of current FDI norms for e-commerce as expressed in the Press Note 3. These violations are all market distorting. The government has sat over scores of complaints given to it for such violations, and a case is also currently in the Supreme Court. Before investigating and deciding on these existing ongoing by Flipkart, billions of dollars of new FDI cannot be allowed to come in and compound these ongoing violations against India’s markets, economy and citizens.  

The Joint Action Committee Against Foreign Retail and E-commerce greatly condemns the go-head to Walmart’s takeover of Flipkart by the Competition Commission of India. Flipkart indulges in gross and widely-reported violations of current FDI norms for e-commerce as expressed in the Press Note 3. These violations are all market distorting. The government has sat over scores of complaints given to it for such violations, and a case is also currently in the Supreme Court. Before investigating and deciding on these existing ongoing by Flipkart, billions of dollars of new FDI cannot be allowed to come in and compound these ongoing violations against India’s markets, economy and citizens.  

Web documentary | Land of plenty, land of but a few

With the arrival of big agricultural investment to the Nacala Corridor, one of the most fertile and populated areas of Mozambique, thousands of people were dispossessed of their land and are still waiting for the promise of a better life to come true.

With the arrival of big agricultural investment to the Nacala Corridor, one of the most fertile and populated areas of Mozambique, thousands of people were dispossessed of their land and are still waiting for the promise of a better life to come true.

Farmers and consumers commemorate Golden Rice uprooting victory amid renewed push for field trials

Five years ago today, more than 400 farmers, women, youth and consumers uprooted the secret Golden Rice field trials in Pili, Camarines Sur, decisively showing the rejection of the people against the genetically modified rice. The historic action has resulted to increased awareness and renewed debate globally and has driven the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to postpone the commercialization slated in 2016 supposedly due to the lower yields of the Golden Rice.

Five years ago today, more than 400 farmers, women, youth and consumers uprooted the secret Golden Rice field trials in Pili, Camarines Sur, decisively showing the rejection of the people against the genetically modified rice. The historic action has resulted to increased awareness and renewed debate globally and has driven the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to postpone the commercialization slated in 2016 supposedly due to the lower yields of the Golden Rice.

Peoples movements reject RCEP

More than 80 participants representing trade union, farmers, indigenous peoples, and other civil society organitations gathered in Thailand on the sidelines of the latest  negotiations RCEP mega trade agreement in Asia. Here is their statement.  

More than 80 participants representing trade union, farmers, indigenous peoples, and other civil society organitations gathered in Thailand on the sidelines of the latest  negotiations RCEP mega trade agreement in Asia. Here is their statement.  

Farmer seeds, plants of the future for healthy and sustainable nutrition

The COASP and COPAGEN, their members and allies are outraged by the drive of our regional institutions to harmonize the regional seed legislation for the benefit of the seed industry in particular and the agrochemical sector in general.

The COASP and COPAGEN, their members and allies are outraged by the drive of our regional institutions to harmonize the regional seed legislation for the benefit of the seed industry in particular and the agrochemical sector in general.

Land speculation is leading to human rights violations and eco-destruction in Brazil

A new report uncovers how international pension funds, foreign investments and institutions are tearing down any future for rural communities in Northeastern Brazil.  

A new report uncovers how international pension funds, foreign investments and institutions are tearing down any future for rural communities in Northeastern Brazil.  

Our land is worth more than carbon

While farming is one of humanity’s activities that generates most greenhouse gas, carbon sequestration in farmland is increasingly put forward as a means of limiting climate change. Internationally, initiatives of this type are mushrooming. Is this a miracle solution or just an excuse for not reducing food-related emissions? CCFD-Terre Solidaire’s new report – "Our land is worth more than carbon", analyses in detail carbon sequestration in soil and the complicated linkage between agriculture and climate change. It examines our agri-food systems both upstream and downstream from production and looks at the challenges in the light of environmental, economic, social and cultural criteria.

While farming is one of humanity’s activities that generates most greenhouse gas, carbon sequestration in farmland is increasingly put forward as a means of limiting climate change. Internationally, initiatives of this type are mushrooming. Is this a miracle solution or just an excuse for not reducing food-related emissions? CCFD-Terre Solidaire’s new report – "Our land is worth more than carbon", analyses in detail carbon sequestration in soil and the complicated linkage between agriculture and climate change. It examines our agri-food systems both upstream and downstream from production and looks at the challenges in the light of environmental, economic, social and cultural criteria.

Bringing farming back to nature

Farming the land as if nature doesn’t matter has been the model for much of the Western world’s food production system for at least the past 75 years. The results haven’t been pretty: depleted soil, chemically fouled waters, true family farms all but eliminated, a worsening of public health and more. But an approach that combines innovation and tradition has emerged, one that could transform the way we grow food. It’s called agroecology, and it places ecological science at the center of agriculture. It’s a scrappy movement that’s taking off globally.

Farming the land as if nature doesn’t matter has been the model for much of the Western world’s food production system for at least the past 75 years. The results haven’t been pretty: depleted soil, chemically fouled waters, true family farms all but eliminated, a worsening of public health and more. But an approach that combines innovation and tradition has emerged, one that could transform the way we grow food. It’s called agroecology, and it places ecological science at the center of agriculture. It’s a scrappy movement that’s taking off globally.

Via Campesina reports on climate justice and agroecology in Africa

Via Campesina published a number of interesting papers on agroecology and climate justice in Southern and Eastern Africa. They include country reports from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania, and a general overview booklet, and contain interesting perspectives from farmers on the ground and examples on how they are already dealing with climate change.

Via Campesina published a number of interesting papers on agroecology and climate justice in Southern and Eastern Africa. They include country reports from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania, and a general overview booklet, and contain interesting perspectives from farmers on the ground and examples on how they are already dealing with climate change.

Norwegian climate policy affects the poorest

Many are aware that global climate change is likely to hit poor people the hardest. Few, on the other hand, know that there are measures to mitigate climate change in the Global South that today are implemented to the detriment of poor people. Even fewer are aware of Norway’s central role.

Many are aware that global climate change is likely to hit poor people the hardest. Few, on the other hand, know that there are measures to mitigate climate change in the Global South that today are implemented to the detriment of poor people. Even fewer are aware of Norway’s central role.

Silencing human rights and environmental defenders: the overuse of Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPP) by corporations

Over the last few years, more and more corporations have used litigation as a tool to attack the credibility of human rights and environmental defenders. This phenomenon is part of what has been labelled, Strategic Litigation against Public Participation; more commonly referred to as SLAPP.  SLAPP is increasingly used by corporations against individuals, or civil society organisations, which have criticised or made public allegations against the corporation’s actions, notably regarding allegations of environmental degradation or human rights abuses. It is not an entirely new strategy as the concept of SLAPP was conceptualised in the United-States during the 1970s, but we have recently experienced an exponential increase of SLAPPs used as a retaliatory mechanism against human rights and environmental defenders. The Business and Human Rights Resources, which is one of the leading international civil society organisations working on issues of corporate responsibilities for human rights violations, recently published a briefing on corporate legal accountability highlighting the amplitude of the phenomenon.  

Over the last few years, more and more corporations have used litigation as a tool to attack the credibility of human rights and environmental defenders. This phenomenon is part of what has been labelled, Strategic Litigation against Public Participation; more commonly referred to as SLAPP.  SLAPP is increasingly used by corporations against individuals, or civil society organisations, which have criticised or made public allegations against the corporation’s actions, notably regarding allegations of environmental degradation or human rights abuses. It is not an entirely new strategy as the concept of SLAPP was conceptualised in the United-States during the 1970s, but we have recently experienced an exponential increase of SLAPPs used as a retaliatory mechanism against human rights and environmental defenders. The Business and Human Rights Resources, which is one of the leading international civil society organisations working on issues of corporate responsibilities for human rights violations, recently published a briefing on corporate legal accountability highlighting the amplitude of the phenomenon.  

Campaign reiterates opposition to ProSavana in Mozambique

The No to ProSavana Campaign has learned, in the report from the latest meeting on ProSavana chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security on April 4, that the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan are moving to implement the ProSavana program in northern Mozambique, ignoring broad opposition by peasants, Mozambican men and women and civil society organizations, whether members of not of the No to ProSavana Campaign. The report clearly states that “It is necessary to move forward. We will not all think alike. Some do not want to, but it is necessary to move forward.”  

The No to ProSavana Campaign has learned, in the report from the latest meeting on ProSavana chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security on April 4, that the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan are moving to implement the ProSavana program in northern Mozambique, ignoring broad opposition by peasants, Mozambican men and women and civil society organizations, whether members of not of the No to ProSavana Campaign. The report clearly states that “It is necessary to move forward. We will not all think alike. Some do not want to, but it is necessary to move forward.”  

Mozambique won’t be Mato Grosso

In the Mozambican village of Nakarari, deep in the bush of the Mutuali district, 2,000km north of Maputo, 40 villagers were meeting under a mango tree; children played around them, jumping with excitement whenever a fruit dropped. The villagers were hoping that a popular movement centred on Nakarari had dealt a fatal blow to Africa’s biggest agro-industrial programme, ProSavana. A popular movement centred on a small farming village in northern Mozambique has, for the moment, halted an attempt to move to cash-crop monocultures mainly for export.

In the Mozambican village of Nakarari, deep in the bush of the Mutuali district, 2,000km north of Maputo, 40 villagers were meeting under a mango tree; children played around them, jumping with excitement whenever a fruit dropped. The villagers were hoping that a popular movement centred on Nakarari had dealt a fatal blow to Africa’s biggest agro-industrial programme, ProSavana. A popular movement centred on a small farming village in northern Mozambique has, for the moment, halted an attempt to move to cash-crop monocultures mainly for export.

Walmart-Flipkart deal: continuing attack on retailers, producers, farmers and labour, and on India's digital sovereignty

The US based Multinational Corporation (MNC) Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart undermines India’s economic and digital sovereignty and the livelihood of millions in India. If the $ 16 billion deal goes through, two US companies (the other being Amazon) will dominate India’s e-retail sector. They will also own India’s key consumer and other economic data, making them our digital overlords, joining the ranks of Google and Facebook.  

The US based Multinational Corporation (MNC) Walmart’s acquisition of Flipkart undermines India’s economic and digital sovereignty and the livelihood of millions in India. If the $ 16 billion deal goes through, two US companies (the other being Amazon) will dominate India’s e-retail sector. They will also own India’s key consumer and other economic data, making them our digital overlords, joining the ranks of Google and Facebook.  

How EU milk is sinking Africa’s farmers

European multinationals are aggressively pursuing one of milk’s few growth markets, where locals say they can’t compete. A good artible by Politico.

European multinationals are aggressively pursuing one of milk’s few growth markets, where locals say they can’t compete. A good artible by Politico.