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about seeds and their significance in the Second Conference of this Chilean feminist organization Later this month Santiago, Chile will be hosting the second National Conference of the National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women (ANAMURI).
We discuss one of its main topics, Agroecology, from the perspective of popular campesino feminism.
Speaking with Jacqueline Arriagada, director of producers at the National Association
of Rural and Indigenous Women of Chile (ANAMURI, CLOC-Vía Campesina), she
mentions the importance of debates regarding family campesino agriculture, and
remarks that in Chile this form of cultivation has been under attack for 40 years by what
she describes as an “invasion and occupation of monocultures in the territories.”
In that sense, women often have been left with no options for staying on the land, in the
fields, where only old people remain.
This generates a great uprooting and an aging of rural population. Governments have not been able to address these issues, Jacqueline asserts in an interview for Real World Radio with Viviana Catrileo, also of ANAMURI.
Among the factors attacking the campesino culture, the Chilean representative pointed
to projects concerning mining and industrial crops meant for export.
Jacqueline said that in this regard, popular campesino feminism becomes more significant as a project that needs to be collectively discussed for "rooting ourselves in the core organizations and communities to find a meaning and develop our own content."
"If you’re not settled in at the grassroots level,” Jacqueline says, “everything else is meaningless and nothing but a pretty speech."
Another subject of the conference will be Agroecology as a principle of action towards
Food Sovereignty and political education of rural women. In that sense, she highlighted
its historic character, in order to “prevent it from becoming just a trend.
” The representative from ANAMURI mentioned the creation of the Agroecology Institute
for Rural Women, in the context of the experience of the Latin American Institute of
Agroecology (IALA) driven by CLOC in several countries.
In the interview, Jacqueline makes clear that this dream of the campesino women
in ANAMURI is starting to become real, with an independent character, and from
this autonomy they greatly value the partnerships that can be achieved to support
this process, which arises as a proposal and experiences of CLOC-Vía Campesina
The leader also mentioned that the expectations of the Conference’s discussions
regarding Agroecology, the IALA and Food Sovereignty –among other topics– is
targeted mainly towards questioning the model, under the motto “Fighting for our
rights, against capitalism and patriarchy; we have a say.”
Also appreciated are the importance of converging with grassroots organizations
regarding processes of mobilization, education and communication, as well as cross
curricular subjects such as native and farmer’s seeds, and their defense and protection.
Jacqueline states that “seeds are the heart of food sovereignty” and therefore, the seeds
campaign affirms that “seeds represent the heritage of the peoples who generously put
them in the service of humanity.” In that sense, Jacqueline emphasized the victory of
the Chilean popular movements against the Plant Variety Rights Act, known as the
“Monsanto Act”, obtained earlier this year by strong social pressure on the incoming
administration of current President Michelle Bachelet.
The Conference of the Chilean feminist organization will take place from November 28
to 30 in the town of San Miguel, in the metropolitan area of Santiago.
Real World Radio will be providing special coverage of this Conference, reporting from Chile.
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