Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP)

Promoting Seed Sovereignty

Chavannes Jean-Baptiste of Haiti’s Peasant Movement of Papaye (MPP) muses, “In the old days, Haitian peasants never sold seeds; seeds were for sharing and exchanging.”

Today the old ways have been pushed aside. Seeds have become big business.

This assault on the basic human right to food commercializes and commodifies one of life’s most essential assets. It jeopardizes human health, threatens the global food supply and steals away the livelihoods of small farmers around the world.

Haitian Movements Speak Out Against Monsanto, Offer Community-led Solutions

Haiti’s peasant movements are reforesting the countryside, building irrigation systems, feeding communities – just to name a few activites that are improving lives for rural communities across the nation. In the video below,  members of Haiti’s Group of Four (G4) and the Dessalines Brigade describe how Haiti’s peasant movement connects with the struggle for food sovereignty in the United States, and globally. The video includes Grassroots International partners from Haiti and Brazil speaking at an Occupy the Food Prize rally on October 17, 2013 in Des Moines.

Advances on the Journey to Food Sovereignty and Human Rights

This last year has seen many advances around the globe for communities and activists pushing to regain their fundamental human rights to land, water, and food.  As we now approach the end of 2013, we take this opportunity a look back at some of the accomplishments that have marked the year.  In spite of the great challenges—and seemingly insurmountable odds—there is much to celebrate.  Below are some of many highlights from the last year.

Winning land for formerly landless farmers in Brazil

MPP’s Much Ado About Women

Haiti, like everywhere else, has a complex relationship with women. Women’s work in and out the home is invaluable, sometimes the difference between: eating or not, schooling or not, and medical care or not. The majority of Haitian households are headed by women who are divorced, widowed, or never married. These women are eking out a living by the skin of their teeth—resourceful in a resource-strapped world. But despite Haitian women’s contributions to society and economy, they remain trapped invarious levels of social and institutional discrimination. They face barriers to adequate housing, education, employment, and justice. On the whole, urban-based women fare a little better than rural-based women, but not by much.

Celebrating Internationalism between Peoples

Jose Luis Patrola is a history professor, farmer, and member of the Brazilian land reform group, the Rural Landless Workers’ Movement, or MST. He lived in Haiti for three years as part of the Dessalines Brigade, an exchange of agricultural and technical cooperation between Haitians and Brazilians. In a departure from many international programs of “teaching” and “aiding” Haitians, Patrola speaks here [with Beverly Bell] about mutual learning and respect.

When Peasant Movements Unite...

Strength through unity.

That is the motto on the Haitian flag, and it is being played out now in a new collaboration among the country’s leading social movements.

Each of the four largest Haitian peasant movements have storied histories individually and now collectively under the umbrella of the Group of Four (G4). In Kreyol the G4 is called “4 Je Kontre” or “4 Eyes Meet.”

Rose Edith: From Nun to Peasant Leader to Personal Inspiration

Getting to Northwest Haiti takes the strongest of wills and an even sturdier truck or SUV. The roads, all of which somehow lead to Port-au-Prince, amount to nothing more than occasionally paved gravel. You’ll get lost in miles of beautiful blue sky while passing one mountain community after another; you’ll almost forget that you’ve been clutching your seatbelt for the better part of five hours. But if you can get through it, you will be rewarded for your troubles by one of the warmest and most engaging women in Haiti: Rose Edith Raymonvil Germain. 

2013 Food Sovereignty Prize Honors Grassroots International Partners

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance announced today their selection for the fifth annual Food Sovereignty Prize. This year’s winners and honorable mentions include peasant organizations and movements that Grassroots International has supported over many years, even decades. 

The Fight Against Monsanto Continues

On May 13, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of agro-chemical giant Monsanto and against small farmers on a seed patent case. This is just another example of the attacks faced by small farmers around the world. Our global partners have been fighting against international corporations like Monsanto for years—in Haiti, Mexico, and right here in the United States.