In Our Network on 18/06/2010 at 8:50 am
My name is Abe (uh-bee) Levine. I am a religious studies major and a food and political science minor at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. I spent this past semester looking at the human perspective, the on the ground effects, of development and globalization in Khon Kaen, and as Bennett wrote, living and learning with villagers. This summer I will be working to develop a focus group of consumers from the Green Market (Dthalad See Keow); it will be modeled after groups in the States that organize C.S.A.s (community supported agriculture) and work together to create other initiatives related to organic agriculture in their communities. Read the rest of this entry »
In In Solidarity on 15/06/2010 at 8:50 am
The only “win-win” will be accomplished when small-scale farmers can grow safe, healthy food for local communities. We support Olivier De Schutter as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food – and believe that international institutions must be held to the higher standards.
Olivier De Schutter (Project Syndicate)
BRUSSELS – The World Bank, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretariat recently presented seven “Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment.” The principles seek to ensure that large-scale land investments result in “win-win” situations, benefiting investors and directly affected communities alike. But, though well-intended, the principles are woefully inadequate. Read the rest of this entry »
In Farmers Groups, Meetings on 13/06/2010 at 8:09 pm
Dear readers – here is our summer intern’s first post! Abe Levine, a student from the CIEE Khon Kaen study abroad program and Macaelester College, will be supporting the AAN’s Yasothon Green Market and website for the next few months. Abe is fresh off a semester of learning and living with villagers and has spent the past weeks working in the fields and getting to know our network’s farmers better.
O June 6th, farmers from 15 villagers gathered to create an action plan directed towards promoting sustainable organic agriculture. Farmers sat in a circle, classroom style, at the learning center in Kudchum province, Yasothon, prepared to share their stories and offer each other feedback. Paw Lan (Dow Ruung Peht Pon) began the meeting by asking three questions:
1.) What problems are we experiencing?
2.) What can we do about them?
3.) What outputs can we expect from these solutions?
A number of farmers expressed that their neighboring villagers who do chemical farming embrace the mentality that organic farming requires too much physical labor, that there are too many steps involved. Read the rest of this entry »
In Our Network on 08/06/2010 at 7:40 am
To view a slide show of images from Jarrett’s trip to visit the organic farmers of Ubon Ratchathani, click here.
In a remote Thai village, a 24-year-old New Jersey man named Bennett Haynes farms rice and vegetables. But Haynes also plays a more sinister role: in a recent farming folk opera about rice, he’s been cast by villagers in the part of sticky rice #6. This type of rice is an “improved” variety—a commodity crop sold by seed companies—that has supplanted local varieties.
In the opera, Haynes’s evil character wanders the countryside, stealing the hardy brown and black grains sown for centuries and infecting the paddies with his own seed. Sticky rice #6 is white, and so is Bennett, which makes the audience chuckle. Read the rest of this entry »