Caritas Asia members promote organic agriculture and farmers’ rights across the region through the Sustainable Agriculture and Farmers’ Rights (SAFaR) programme.
The Farmers’ Conference (FC) is one of the major yearly events of the programme. Here grassroots level farmers gather together, learn and share their concerns and raise their voice to protect their rights.
We all are being affected by human-made climate change. Farmers are the worst sufferers. The seasons, the time to plant, the time to harvest are changing. Much of the indigenous knowledge of farmers is no longer always applicable. It seems that every year, they lose their yield to floods or storms.
The marginal farmers’ become most vulnerable. They become the poorest of the poor.
International seeds-marketing has become a life threat to farmers too. Suicide among farmers in some parts of India is a grave concern.
Organic farming and community marketing of organic produce can save farmers’ life and livelihood. Through the ‘Action Research’ project supported by Caritas Asia, Caritas Bangladesh has already proved that a dry land can be greenery using very limited water. Caritas Mongolia has taken a big challenge to produce organic vegetables and to change food habits of Mongolians.
Organic farming not only will save Asian farmers economically but also help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. Their pro-active approach to reduce GHG may not get them international recognition but it is sure that they are making a huge contribution to saving the Earth.
We – as farmers and development professionals – may not be able to solve all problems, but our contribution to address these issues at our level can be valuable.
We also stand against genetically modified seeds, chemical farming, unfair and distorted trade, and oppressive bilateral agreements, stealing of indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices, as well as stealing of local varieties of seeds and plants.
Our organic farmers are our inspiration. We promote organic agriculture to bring life and light in soil, land and in our community. Our conference is one of the many events that can ensure farmers’ rights and save their lives as well as the Earth.
For more information contact: Gabriel Baroi, Programme Officer for Caritas Asia