Haitian Farmers Protest Against the Monopolization of Agricultural Land
Sunday, 26 June 2011 14:03
Written by John Smith Sanon
HINCHE, Haiti - Several organizations in the field of food, health and agriculture protested on Tuesday, against the buying-up of land in the commune of Hinche.
"Dappiyanp sou te peyi a, yon danje pou dwa grandèt majè Ayiti", ((Rape of the land is a danger for the rights of the majority of Haitians))
is the theme of the protests which began at 10 am, June 21.
People from around the town of Papaye and surrounding areas gathered at Carrefour Papaye to march to downtown Hinche.
The campaign "je kontre
" ((Look us in the eyes))
was organized by a group of organizations including, Actionaid Haiti, Mouvman Peyizan Papaye
(MPP) ((the Papaya Peasant Movement))
, CROSE ((Regional Coordination of Southestern Regions ,a social movement of peasants, women and youth))
, National Network for Sovereignty and Food Security in Haiti (RENASSAH), Kòdinasyon Fanm Peyizan (KONAFAP) ((Coordination of Female Peasants/Peasants Wives))
, Platform Organizations in Community of the Metropolitan of Port-au-Prince (COZPAM) and Coordination for Health and Development in Haiti (COSADH).
The initiative aims to say "I oppose" the hoarding of agricultural land for the benefit of multinational institutions and to our agriculture.
The day was also designed to promote agricultural biodiversity in defending local seeds, commemorating World Environment Day, June 4 and to commemorate the march against the use of Monsanto hybrid seeds in Haiti, which was a major demonstration in Hinche, June 2010.
According to the growers, these products could make the country dependent on international seeds, while there are local seeds available.
Men, women and children, mostly farmers, have responded by the thousands to the event. Straw hats on their heads, for the most part, with the inscriptions like, "Kanpay je kontre" "Viv manje lakay", "viv semans lakay" and "te se libète", ((Campaign Look Us In The Eye", "Viva local food", "Viva local seed", and "Land is freedom"))
, they seemed very motivated under the shining sun to hum peasant tunes under the animation of a musical tank which accompanied.
The March was peaceful, with the presence of the Police Nationale d'Haiti. Several observers were also on hand, including those of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights in Haiti (RNDDH), the Plea for Alternative Development Platform (PAPDA), Fanm Deside, PLANOPA and ITEKA.