Friday, August 24, 2012

Women farmers take on agribusiness

Farming is the oldest profession for women & they continue to play a leading role in agriculture around the world--including in defending traditional farming from the encroachments of neoliberal agriculture (plantation monoculture) for the export market. In South Korea, farmers actively opposed the Free Trade Agreement between South Korea & the US (KORUS FTA) because it would flood the South Korean market with cheaper, government subsidized US agricultural products & undermine family farming. Despite farmer opposition, both the US & South Korean parliaments ratified the agreement last fall (Oct. & Nov.). US agribusiness has now gained total access to the South Korean agricultural market, with over half of Korea’s food imports now coming from the US. Yesterday, women farmers from across the country came to Seoul to demand the government scrap free trade negotiations with China, which the farmers say would be a “nuclear bomb” for family farms. The political activism of Korean farmers has long been a thorn in the side of the international agribusiness industry (Monsanto, Cargill, et al) because the resistance of small farmers & indigenous peoples around the world obstructs the control of the global food supply by only five corporations. Our fullest  solidarity & respect for their leadership.  (Photo by Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters)

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