This book, “Shaping the Asian Peasant Agenda: Solidarity Building Towards Sustainable Rural Development in Asian Rural Communities”, portray the perspectives of AFA and AsiaDHRRA on the agrarian and agricultural situation in their own countries and of the sub-region. It contains country reports, workshop results and lectures of keynote speakers and resource persons, presented during the sub-regional conferences conducted by AFA from August till October of 2003.
During the Millennium Summit of the United Nations (UN) in September 2000, 147 Head of States and Governments and 191 member-states adopted the Millennium Declaration. The Declaration embodies structured development goals and targets. The adopting countries committed to achieve its targets to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women by 2015. Expert studies projected the resources required to attain the goals and what are expected to be available.
What is the GATT-WTO?
The World Trade Organization (WTO) describes itself as “the only international organization dealing with the global rules of trade between nations. Its main function is to ensure that trade fl ows as smoothly, predictably and freely as possible.”
Agrarian reform, or AR, is the redistribution of public and private agricultural lands, regardless of produce and tenurial arrangement, to landless farmers and regular farm workers, to include support services and other arrangements alternative to distribution of land such as production/profi t sharing, labor organization, or distribution of shares of stock.
This research is intended to help contribute to this articulation process by identifying and consolidating small farmers' trade agenda in five countries, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. These countries represent a good mix of both net agricultural exporters and importers, providing the paper with a balanced perspective of looking at trade and its impact on small farmers. The agenda of small farmers in these countries formed the bases for the formulation of their trade agenda in ASEAN. The research is divided into three parts.
There is a need to distinguish between small-scale, subsistence family-based farming, small to medium scale businesses in the agriculture sector that is the predominant mode in the global south on one hand and; the operations of agribusiness (whether a large local corporation or transnational corporation) found in the agricultural sector of many countries that are typically large in size and capital on the other.
Addressing the problem of hunger in a world where food production systems, particularly in developing countries, are being eroded and undermined by climate change is one of the most important challenges of our time. Studies by the Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), Oxfam and the Asian Development Bank, among others, underscore the significance of climate change impacts on agriculture and food production (FAO 2007, Oxfam 2009, ADB 2009).
Rising food prices, increasing climate instability and food riots have sparked profound political changes around the world and put agriculture high on the international agenda. What kind of agriculture is best suited to respond to those challenges, however, is the subject of profound disagreement. Too much of the current policy debate on food security, climate change and agriculture assumes that industrial agriculture and related biotechnology are the only options for feeding a growing global population.