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Real World Radio interviewed Zimbabwean peasant Elizabeth Mpofu during La Via Campesina’s (LVC) 6th International Conference held in Jakarta, Indonesia from June 9 to 13. The organization has now moved its international secretariat to Zimbabwe, so the national group of LVC Zimbabwe will be playing a new international role and facing new challenges.
Mpofu spoke about the impact capitalism is having on peasants and women. She mentioned that capitalism is still grabbing land from people and that violence against women is increasing.
However, she said some of the progress made by LVC in the recent year is its growing number of peasants at the international level and the mobilization of more women to attend international meetings and conferences.
Some of the movement’s biggest achievements, in Mpofu’s opinion, has been the promotion of food sovereignty and the introduction of agroecology training schools.
She recognized there are still some challenges ahead, such as the mobilizing of young people to become more active in the movement. She said young people are resistant because they think farming is a very difficult activity so LVC is trying to get them involved in farming.
One of the main problems in Zimbabwe is that young people do not have enough land, so they depend on their parents’ land.
She also mentioned climate change as one of the big challenges faced by all farmers, while she highlighted the importance of indigenous seeds.
About the next steps to be taken by La Via Campesina, she said that they need to market their agroecological production. They have to process, package and sell their products to the markets, and for that they need to campaign, to lobby governments.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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