Rural Communities vs Public Private Partnership: A Continuing Fight for Food Sovereignty

“PPP is worse than privatisation.”

This is the bold statement by social movements and grassroots organisations of small-scale food producers from different parts of Asia. They convened last Friday, November 12, in a workshop held at the UP Balay Kalinaw in Quezon City, Philippines, hosted by CPDE and the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty or PCFS with the title: Regional Workshop on PPPs in Agriculture and its Impact on Food Sovereignty.

The participating groups were given an avenue to share their plights. For years, different organisations, movements and communities have fought against the devastating effects these PPPs bring. Land-grabbing, destruction of natural resources, displacement and human rights violations occurred in many countries, according to delegates from India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines. With these, locals become estranged from producing food for consumption and lose control of their own lands dominated by corporations supported by its own government.

For instance, a mega agricultural PPP project caused displacement among indigenous peoples living in Malind, Indonesia. According to Andre Barahamin, researcher at Pusaka Foundation, a total of 148, 000 Malind-anims were displaced when the first phase of the project started in 2011.

“Police and army forces were the main human rights abuser over there. So, all the indigenous struggles there are repressed under the name of national stability,” Barahamin says.

The fight is not over for locals and supporting non-government organisations. Other nations share the same plight and are determined to put an end to it.

“The monitoring of development disasters can only be done by CSOs… and CSO platforms can only give the fair and factual figures because they represent the voices of the concerned, voices of the people, ” says Chennaiah Poguri, CPDE Coordination Committee member from India, highlighting the importance of unity amongst peoples and supporting organisations. He hopes for a broader representation in countries also in need of help against PPP.

The workshop culminated with unity statement. They called on all peasants, farmers, IPs, small-scale food producers and other sectors to strengthen the resolve to oppose PPPs in agriculture and similar schemes. They asked people to make a concerted effort to confront corporate hands and egotistical donor states who intensify the lack of economic democracy. The delegates of the regional workshop posed goals in the national and regional level.

The statement committed to continue to fight to re-establish the people’s control over resources; prioritize the use of land and water resources for agricultural needs to meet domestic food needs; boost institutional and financial support for sustainable forms of agriculture; build food and grain reserves at the national and regional level; and increase public investment in agriculture and rural development.

Post a comment

Translate »