La Via Campesina’s South Asia Region convened in Sevagram Ashram on August 25th-28th, 2014 for our regional meeting. We had over 50 participants, coming from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and India. Women and youth were well represented, and participated in the Youth and Women’s meetings. We had presentations on recent developments regarding the WTO and GMOs from Afsar Jafri (Focus on the Global South) and Kavitha Kuruganti (ASHA). LVC activists joined in on a field visit to a local natural farm as well as a session by a local agriculture innovator (solar powered electric fence to keep out wildlife). A highlight of the four-day meeting was a cultural performance by a local musician who sings songs about organic agriculture and environmentalism in a typical bhajan style. We also had the opportunity on the first day of our meeting to visit a local village during Pola, a farmers’ holiday when the bulls are fed sweets and get the day off! (See bulls dressed for the occasion below)
Women resolved to hold a leadership training for women from the region before the end of the year, and the youth have taken on many projects include communications, youth exchange, and leadership development. LVC General Assembly resolved to make Amritha Bhoomi in Karnataka (International Center for Development and Agroecology School) the first LVC Agroecology School in South Asia. We also resolved to develop our relationship with other South Asian movements.
A more in-depth update and summary of action plans will be released soon.
Presentation from Afsar Jafri (Focus on the Global South)
Youth Meeting – Jenny sharing about MONLAR in Sri Lanka Youth Plan
Youth Presentation from Food Sovereignty Alliance
Field Visit to Natural Farm
Update from ANPFA (Nepal)
Mid-session musical entertainment courtesy of Ramanna from KRRS