German farmers mobilize against agri-business, seek sustainable solutions

On January 26, hundreds of farmers and activists marched in Passau, Bavaria, demanding radical transformation in the agricultural sector, including environment-friendly agricultural policies

February 01, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Thousands of farmers marched in Germany, with slogans such as 'We are fed up with agribusiness' and 'Food is Political',

On January 26, hundreds of farmers and activists marched in Passau, Bavaria, Germany, demanding radical transformation in the agricultural sector, including environment-friendly agricultural policies. They urged the authorities to get rid of exploitative agri-businesses and the usage of chemical fertilizers. The march was organized by Greenpeace Deggendorf.

Earlier, on January 19, around 35,000 people marched in Berlin under the banner ‘We are fed up with Agribusiness!’ The demonstration was called by the group, My Agriculture, which is a broad alliance of agriculturalists and civil society. The march was held on the occasion of the 11th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin, which took place on January 17-19 on the theme “Agriculture Goes Digital – Smart Solutions for Future Farming”. It was attended by agricultural ministers and policy makers from different countries.

EcoWatch reported that the protesters held placards saying “Food is political”. The march coincided with the “Green Week” agricultural fair and was joined by a procession of 170 farmers driving tractors to the rally at the Brandenburg Gate. On the same day, thousands also marched in Tubingen demanding nature-friendly agricultural reforms.

The demonstrators appealed for reforming the European agricultural policy into a coherent one in terms of social, environmental and developmental policies, as well as a clear political framework so that the farmers can carry out their work towards the satisfaction of civil society.

They also pointed out to the GFFA that “people are expelled from their land, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. In Brazil, members of the landless peasants’ movement are threatened with criminalization under the new president, Bolsonaro. The agricultural sector has become one of the “deadliest sectors” for human rights defenders in the world. This is an unbearable situation for us and we expect a clear signal from the conference that this must be condemned and stopped”.

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