Highlighting the peasant farmers’ plight

A NEW film from La Via Campesina, the international organisation which campaigns for the rights of small farmers, peasants and indigenous peoples, focuses on the problems facing young people in rural areas.

The Feast:Tong-Tong, produced in conjunction with ZIN TV, was created during a youth meeting of La Via Campesina in Senegal.

What is it like to be a young peasant farmer in Senegal at a time when the authorities and the transnationals are seizing farmland, parcelling it out among them and turning peasants into farm labourers?

The film focuses on the lives of Senegalese farmers who are fighting against powerful legislative and economic forces. From fishing to herding, and from north to south, the pattern is familiar.

“They ask the young people to stay and work here, but those are just empty words,” says one young Senegalese fisherman in Dakar. “ Where’s the resource base for these people? If you want youth to stay, you have to give them something to work with.”

Internationally, despite the diversity of rural communities, the peasant members of La Via Campesina are proving that these issues are widespread and are offering tools for achieving food sovereignty and peoples’ self-determination.

The Feast:Tong-Tong is free to watch on viacampesina.org and ZINTV.org