COMMEMORATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE PEASANT’S STRUGGLE. 17th April 2020

Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) joins hands with the world wide movement of small-holder producers (La Via Campesina) in commemorating the International Day of the Peasant’s Struggle.

The International Day of the Peasant’s Struggle celebrated on the 17th day of April each year reckons the memory of the 19 farmers killed by the Brazilian state whilst defending their rights to their land.

We, smallholder farmers, being the main national producers of food hereby unite with the small-holder producers worldwide in offering our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their dear ones and to all those hit and affected by the COVID_19 pandemic.

This catastrophe, bearing no boundaries, affecting the urban and rural residents reminds us of our long due and essential urge and call to the governments on strengthening and improving the social services such as health, water, education, extension services, communication and infrastructure in both the rural and urban areas. We insist on the government to ensure for the equitable distribution and refrain from continued commoditization of the respective essential services.

In this time when the world pleads more for solidarity, we are more than saddened by the trends, actions and inactions of some of the states, led by the United States of America, who keep on extending economic embargoes to states like Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran and Palestine. Such a stance not only intensifies the economic hardships in the respective victim states, but also it derails the collective efforts in tackling and dealing with this COVID_19 pandemic.

Specifically however, we are more than disappointed by the recent action of the government of the United States of America of withdrawing its financial support to the World Health Organization (WHO) in this time when all resources is required in preserving our lives and livelihoods against COVID_19. We are however adamant that other states and non state actors shall uphold to the task in support of the WHO and further ensure that the economic embargoes and financial withdrawals are lifted for the sake of promoting our welfare.

Moreover, we again plead to the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to further uphold and champion for the realization of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas, adopted late in 2018 and supported by the government with an approval vote. We insist that the government take note of the contents therein and incorporate such in our policies and ensure on their implementation.

As small-holder farmers we are dedicated:

  • To stand in solidarity and support of the health care providers and all the working people in the forefront battling against this pandemic – COVID_19.
  • To further understand on the origin and history of the peasants and essential producers worldwide and strengthen our learning system to adhere to our actual environment and realities.
  • To continue engaging in production that respects and preserves the environment.
  • To denounce exploitative and oppressive production systems that expropriate the knowledge and resources of the farmers and instead champion for a less nutrient food system.
  • To keep on taking precaution against the COVID_19 pandemic and raise our voice against all the ills directed to and affecting the welfare of the working people worldwide.

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The Defender of the Farmer is the Farmer

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