Monday, January 02, 2006

Assert our rights to land and food

UPDATE: The 16th ASA General Conference formally open by the keynote speaker, Sarojini Rangam, the Director of the Pesticide Action Network (PAN-AP). Members of the ASA were presented with the concept of the food sovereignty. As majority of the Asia-Pacific countries depend on the agricultural, many of the people are peasants or agricultural workers. However, due to the subsidies of the developed countries, their livelihood become deteriorates.

It was an important orientation to many of the members in the ASA because the issues of agricultural and peasant seldom been discussed in the past. The awareness on the WTO and globalization cannot isolate from the agricultural. The Agreement on Agricultural (AoA) is the main culprit who destroys the culture of food and takes away the concept of the food sovereignty.

Sarojini pointed out the important of the struggles in different levels. As the ASA is the regional platform and the members are campaigning in nationwide, the struggle for the food sovereignty and the rights of the people must be improved in order to address the current situation. The keynote address was around 40 minutes with the active participation from the members.