Search This Blog

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Corporate vision of the future of food promoted at the UN

Press release – La Via Campesina, ETC and Grain

(Rome, Monday 15 February, 2016) Just when the biotech companies that make transgenic seeds are merging, the corporate vision of biotechnology is showing up at FAO. At today’s opening of the three-day International symposium on agricultural biotechnologies convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, more than 100 civil society and social movement and organizations (CSOs) from four continents have issued a statement denouncing both the substance and structure of the meeting, which appears to be another attempt by multinational agribusiness to redirect the policies of the UN agency toward support for Genetically-engineered crops and livestock. 
The global peasant and family farm movement, La Via Campesina, invited CSOs to sign the letter when the symposium’s agenda became public.  Two of the FAO keynote speakers are known proponents of GMOs, and the agenda and side events over the three days include speakers from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (a biotech trade group in the USA), Crop Life International (the global agrochemical trade association), DuPont (one of the world’s largest biotech seed companies) and CEVA (a major veterinary medicine corporation), among others. FAO has only invited one speaker or panellist openly critical of GMOs.  Worse, one of the two speakers at the opening session is a former assistant director general of FAO who has pushed for so-called Terminator seeds (GMO seeds programmed to die at harvest time forcing farmers to purchase new seeds every growing season), in opposition to FAO’s own public statements. The second keynoter’s speech is titled, "Toward Ending the Misplaced Global Debate on Biotechnology" – suggesting that the FAO symposium should be the moment for shutting down biotech criticism.
In convening the biased symposium, FAO is bowing to industry pressure that intensified following international meetings on agroecology hosted by FAO in 2014 and 2015.  The agroecology meetings were a model of openness to all viewpoints, from peasants to industry. But the biotech industry apparently prefers now to have a meeting they can control.  This is not the first time FAO has been drawn into this game. In 2010, FAO convened a biotechnology conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, that blocked farmers from its organizing committee, and then tried to prevent their attendance at the conference itself. 
"We are alarmed that FAO is once again fronting for the same corporations, just when these companies are talking about further mergers amongst themselves, which would concentrate the commercial seeds sector in even fewer hands" the CSO statement denounces. 
It is clear, according to the Civil Society Statement, that industry wants to use FAO to re-launch their false message that genetically engineered crops can feed the world and cool the planet, while the reality is that nothing has changed on the biotech front. GMOs don't feed people, they are mostly planted in a handful of countries on industrial plantations for agrofuels and animal feed, they increase pesticide use, and they throw farmers off the land. Transnational biotech companies are trying to patent the planet's bodiversity, which shows that their main interest is to make enormous profits, and not to guarantee food security or food sovereignty. The industrial food system that these companies promote is also one of the main drivers of climate change. Confronted with the rejection of GMOs by many consumers and producers, the industry is now inventing new and possibly dangerous breeding techniques to genetically modify plants, without calling them GMOs. In doing so, they are trying to avoid current GMO regulations and trick consumers and farmers. 
The agroecology activities were much closer to the way that FAO should act, the Statement points out, "as a centre for knowledge exchange, without a hidden agenda on behalf of a few." Why does FAO now limit itself again to corporate biotechnology and deny the existence of peasant technologies? FAO should support the peasant technologies, that offer the most innovative, open source, and the effective pathway to ending hunger and malnutrition. It is time to stop pushing a narrow corporate agenda, says Civil Society. "The vast majority of the world's farmers are peasants, and it is peasants who feed the world. We need peasant-based technologies, not corporate biotechnologies." 
"It is high time that FAO puts an end to biopiracy and to its support for genetically modified crops, which only serve to allow a handful of transnational companies to patent and to grab all the existing biodiversity," said La Via Campesina leader Guy Kastler. "On the contrary, FAO should support farmers' organisations and researchers engaged in collaborative plant breeding in the service of food sovereignty and peasant agroecology”.
The statement and the list of signatories can be downloaded here: http://goo.gl/mjaZor
Media contacts in Rome:
Guy Kastler and other Via Campesina leaders
Phone numbers: + 39 329 665 53 44 and +39 331 188 64 35

FAO Symposium on Biotechnology: How the UN FAO is being strong-armed by the private seed industry

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Symposium on Agricultural Biotechnologies was held at the FAO headquarters in Rome between 15th and 17th Feb 2016. This particular symposium was conducted in the aftermath of the celebrated success of the Agroecology symposium organized by FAO in 2014. That the agribusiness industry was disconcerted by the euphoria surrounding agroecology and hence strong-arming the FAO to organize a similar event on agricultural biotechnology is no secret. Hence there was a strong undercurrent that the FAO was losing its proclaimed ‘neutral’ position in agriculture.

The conference took off on a note of FAO considering ‘every possible alternative’ to end world hunger and malnutrition, given population growth and climate change. The Director General José Graziano da Silvarepeatedly stressed that agricultural biotechnology was not limited to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) alone. Though this is true, GMOs dominate the global agri-biotech industry, and are extremely controversial, to say the least. Almost every speaker who spoke afterward stressed the same point so much so that even an unbiased delegate became suspicious of the speaker’s ulterior intentions.

The plenary session consisted of the following Keynote addresses:
1. The state of knowledge in biotechnology, by Louise Fresco, President, Executive Board of Wageningen UR, Wageningen, The Netherlands
2. Towards ending the misplaced global debate on biotechnology, by GebisaEjeta, Distinguished Professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette, United States of America
3. Biotechnologies in action in Brazil, by Maurício Lopes, President, EmpresaBrasileira de PesquisaAgropecuária, Brasília, Brazil
4. Breakthroughs in resource productivity, by Gunter Pauli, Founder, Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives Network, Japan

Out of the 4 speakers, 3 were pro biotech (read GMO) and only the last one, Gunter Pauli, spoke about creating systems and processes that used natural synergies and much more productive than agri-biotech. The same pattern was repeated over the entire conference, with civil society getting only one speaker slot out of more than 80 invited speakers. Of course this was expected as FAO intended it to portray the latest advances in agri-biotech. But what was not expected was the blatant advertising that the industry indulged in. From CropLife International to DuPont Pioneer, Borlaug Institute to IFPRI, they were all there to proclaim that the notorious agri-biotech industry is the only solution to end world hunger and help agriculture adapt to climate change. (Climate change is now the latest excuse these entities are giving to continue selling their extremely climate non-resilient technologies.)

As the conference concluded, there was a call to bridge agricultural biotechnology with agroecology. Anybody who knows anything about agriculture knows this is not possible. Agricultural biotech promotes monoculture, industrial farming, sky-rocketing input costs, concentration of seeds in the hands of a few elite companies, widening of the IPR net and resulting in the farmer becoming a mere pawn in this racket. Agroecology on the other hand is based on mixed cropping, low input costs, family owned farms and seeds, and is dedicated to conserving the fertility of the soil, the natural environment and the sovereign rights of the farmer.  How can the twain meet? And why is FAO being forced to build this impossible and dangerous bridge?

If a bridge must be built, it is the one between farmers of different countries, suffering corporate and many times their Governments’ biased policies. Small farmers practicing Agro-ecology is the best bet we have to feed and cool the planet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

La Via Campesina in defense of Right to Food in CFS.

La Via Campesina in defense of Right to Food and public stock holding in CFS- FAO


Here is the text of  S.Kannaiyan who spoke on behalf of La via Campesina and civil society mechanism in defense of Right to Food and Public stock holding program of India in  the CFS plenary in FAO on 14th October, 2014.

Thank you madam chair and I take the floor representing 

La Via Campesina which is an active member in the civil society mechanism here.
Civil Society endorses the stance that India has taken here today on the public stock holding issue. We, as civil society believe in the principle of coherence of human rights, which is enshrined in the UDHR. Human Rights are indivisible and inter-dependent.
We cannot have a right to adequate food in practice only by ensuring minimalistic entitlements and by negating the principle of policy coherence.
The complete hypocrisy of the developed countries particularly the US and the EU needs to be throughly exposed. Whilst protecting the interests of their farmers and agri-business, they are using the blatantly unjust WTO rules to arm-twist India and other developing countries.
Public stock holding is vital to the food and nutrition security of any country. It is one of the principal weapons that we have against food price volatility. A guaranteed minimum floor price mechanism can potentially help small and marginal farmers, especially women farmers. Any trade measure that comes in the way of countries assisting the poorest and most marginalised people is unacceptable to us.
We condemn the unfair trade rules that have permitted the developed countries to put most of their subsidies in the Green box, while developing countries are being squeezed to cut their subsidies.
We believe that there should be a full discussion on the public stock holding issue in CFS 42. We believe that the CFS is THE legitimate forum for the discussion on public stock-holding and food security issues and not the WTO.
The principle of coherence of human rights over-rides any trade negotiation or agreement that comes in the way of food security of our constituent groups.
Thank you.

Karuturi still going down



Tax Justice Network ▪ Forum Syd Kenya ▪ GRAIN ▪ Anywaa Survival Organisation ▪ South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements | 09 October 2014 | Other publications
Tax Justice Network ▪ Forum Syd Kenya ▪ GRAIN ▪ Anywaa Survival Organisation ▪ South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements
Media release
9 October 2014
For immediate release
Karuturi still going down
Dutch branch goes bankrupt, farm in Ethiopia sold off
Karuturi Global Ltd, the Indian multinational that made its name in the global cut flower industry and recently acquired more than 300,000 ha in Ethiopia to produce food for foreign markets, is continuing its painful and massive decline. On 30 September 2014, its flower trading subsidiary in the Netherlands was declared bankrupt, while a Dutch industry source reports that one of its farms in Ethiopia has been sold to a company in Dubai.
Four years ago, CEO Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi boasted, "Personally, I believe that in five years or in ten years time I would like to be seen and compared with peers such as Cargill or the Archer Daniels of the world or the Bunges of the world, who are all well known, well reputed agricultural companies."1
Now, with much of Karuturi's overseas operations shut down, seized by creditors or sold off, these ambitious plans appear all but dead.
Initial woes
Karuturi produced roses in India, Kenya and Ethiopia and was planning to expand its nascent food production operations from Ethiopia to numerous other African states.2 But the company struggled to get its expansive farm operations in Ethiopia's Gambella region off the ground and its flower businesses got into trouble. The company's stock price plummeted from a high of 38.15 rupees in October 2010 to 5.00 rupees at the beginning of 2012 to around 1.30 rupees where it sits today.
Meanwhile, the company was on the hook for millions of dollars in unpaid taxes and debts. In 2012, the Kenya Revenue Authority determined that Karuturi, which had once been producing close to a million roses a year at its Naivasha farm for an eager European market, failed to pay US$20 million worth of taxes due to transfer mispricing.3
In 2013, the company was taken to court in Kenya for failure to pay its creditors.4 Unpaid workers went on strike, the Karuturi Hospital suffered power cuts, and free schooling for the flower farmworkers' children at Karuturi School came to an end. The community around the farm in Naivasha continues to bear the economic and social costs of the Indian company's troubles.5
In early 2014, the Kenyan courts finally determined that Karuturi Ltd was bankrupt and put the flower farm in receivership, despite protests from Karuturi.
Latest news
We have just learned that Karuturi's Dutch affiliate, Karuturi BV, has now been declared bankrupt by the court of Haarlem.6
The Dutch unit was responsible for receiving the flower shipments flown in daily from Karuturi's farms in Ethiopia and Kenya, and trading them through Flora-Holland. The flower shipments apparently stopped in May of this year.7 Karuturi BV left a debt of EUR 230,000, of which EUR 130,000 are taxes owed to the Dutch government.8
We have also learned that Karuturi sold its Ethiopian Meadows Plc flower farm to a company in Dubai. Another of its Ethiopian flower farmers, Surya Blossoms Plc, was almost sold in June but remains in Karuturi's hands for now.
In the midst of this turmoil, Karuturi has taken the unusual step of postponing its 2014 Annual General Meeting until December, claiming to the Indian authorities that it cannot produce its annual accounts because the receivers running the farm in Kenya have withheld necessary financial information.9 In late September 2014, Karuturi also made its three most recent annual financial reports and various legal statements pertaining to its legal, tax and labour disputes in Kenya unavailable from its website. Normally, listed public companies like Karuturi are obliged to fully disclose their finances.
Clearly concerned about its image, Karuturi also filed a defamation case against an Indian journalist who wrote a report for Inter Press Service about the company, demanding US$16.4 million in compensation. This move has been strongly denounced by the International Federation of Journalists and its affiliate the Indian Journalists Union as “harassment”.10
Where do things stand?
Now that Karuturi has seemingly lost control of its operations in Kenya, the Netherlands and Ethiopia, there is not much left for the company to hold onto, except some small operations in India – and a whole lot of debt. What went wrong? It's hard to tell. But the change has been spectacular. In Kenya, the flower farm they took over went from peak productivity to financial haemorrhage in a matter of years. In Ethiopia, the hugely controversial land deals, presented as a way for Karuturi “to make a significant contribution to alleviate the global and African food crisis," didn't feed anyone. In Europe, the firm was once responsible for about 1 out of 10 roses that consumers took home. All of this has gone south.
Staye tuned as perhaps a final chapter in the decline of this once significant company plays itself out.
For more information
Ms Mukami Kowino, Forum Syd Kenya, Nairobi
mukami.kowino@forumsyd.org
+254722436802
Mr Devlin Kuyek, GRAIN, Montreal
devlin@grain.org
+15145717702
Mr Nyikaw Ochalla, Anywaa Survival Organisation, London
ochalla@hotmail.com
+447939389796
Dr Attiya Waris, Law School, University of Nairobi
attiya@uonbi.ac.ke


Karuturi Global on Ethiopian plans”, NDTV, 7 June 2010
2 See GRAIN, “Karuturi's corporate structure and finances (2013)”. This graph shows our understanding of the Karuturi group structure before the most recent events, but the details have now, of course, changed.
3 This was an initial audit for fiscal years 2006-7 and 2008-9. The KRA was going to examine Karuturi's books for the following years as well. However, in December 2013, Karuturi suddenly announced that it was granted a reprieve and would only have to pay US$4 million in back taxes. See Karuturi Global Ltd, “Kenyan Tax Claim”, official statement dated 11 December 2013 and posted at http://karuturi.com/images/pdf_new/KENYAN_TAX_CLAIM.pdf (now unavailable), also reported on by Raghuvir Badrinath in "Karuturi Global wins reprieve in Kenyan tax claim", Business Standard, 12 December 2013
4 See Tax Justice Network, Forum Syd Kenya, GRAIN, Anywaa Survival Organisation and South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements, “Karuturi going down? A summary of recent developments as of 13 February 2014
5 See Macharia Mwangi, “Karuturi financial storm leaves many jobless”, Business Daily, 10 September 2014
6 “Karuturi BV is bankrupt”, Rosenet.nl, 2 October 2014
7 Ward Warmerdam and Jan Willem van Gelder (Profundo), “Dutch subsidiaries of Karuturi Global: A research note prepared for GRAIN”, July 2014
8 “Karuturi Aalsmeer left behind a € 230,000 debt”, Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij, 8 October 2014
9 See Raghuvir Badrinath, “Karuturi fails to comply with SEBI”, Business Standard, 17 September 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

South Indian Farmers Support GOI pro-farmer at WTO, demand agriculture out of WTO

Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements
Road No. 2, A – 33, Mahipalpur Extension, New Delhi – 110 037, IndiaTel: 011 - 2678300026784000; Fax: 011-26785001; Email: yudhvir55@yahoo.com

August 6, 2014
To: Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman,
Minister of State Finance
138, North Block, New Delhi
Dear Shrimati Nirmala Sitharaman:

We are a network of farmers’ organizations in India, comprising of farmers movements from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharastra.

We appreciate the Government of India’s uncompromised stand in the WTO and commitment to food security. At the WTO General Council the Government of India has postponed the Trade Facilitation Agreement indefinitely until a solution on public stockholding has been found.  We appreciate the roles the Government of India and you have played in this position, and we will extend support to the Government of India for any pro-farmer and pro-poor position you have in the WTO. However, our position since the Uruguay Round has always been that there is no place for agriculture in the WTO, and Indian farmers have been the champion of this fight, both at home and internationally.

We agree with you that a permanent solution on the issue of public stockholding for food security is paramount to trade facilitation. Thank you for taking a permanent stand for India against pressure from developed countries such as the USA and protecting the interests of Indian farmers. Protecting farmers means protecting food security at large for Indian citizens. Recognizing and acting upon this is a first step for seeking justice for small farmers in a body such as the WTO.

However, the WTO is a fundamentally flawed institution that bends the economic playing field in favor of developed countries and large MNCs at the cost of the livelihoods of the poor.  Since the creation of the WTO, farmers’ organizations of India have held strong that agriculture has no place in the WTO. Especially for a country like India, which has a majority rural population, relinquishing sovereignty of our food system to the interests of foreign corporations and developed countries will have a fatal impact for our population. To truly take the “farmers’ stand” the Government of India must demand an end to agriculture in the WTO altogether.

The
 WTO 
has 
always 
been 
the
 centerpiece 
of
 the 
free 
trade
regime
 with 
its 
multilateral
 reach 
and 
its 
special 
ability
 to
 legally
 enforce
 and
 penalize
 countries
 in
 order
 to
 implement
 global
 trade
 rules.
  It
 has
 been
 18
 years
 since
 the
 WTO
 was
 established.
 The
 multiple
 crises
 of
 finance,
 food,
 climate,
 can
 all
 be
 linked
 to
 the
 free
 trade
 regime
 and
 how
 it
 has
 overexploited
 the
 planet,
 pushing
 us
 into
 this
 climate
 crisis,
 poisoning
 our
 food
 and
 speculating
 on
 prices
 driving
 them
 up
 beyond
 people’s
 reach
 and
 letting
 banks
 and
 transnational
 corporations
 run
 unregulated
 pushing
 us
 all
 into
 the
 brink
 of
 a
 global
 recession.

What 
we 
need 
is 
not 
more 
free
 trade, 
but
 rather,
 a 
new
 system,
 one 
that 
is 
based
 on peoples’
 sovereignty,
 economic,
climate,
 social 
and
 cultural
 justice.
What 
we 
need 
is
 a
 trade
 that
 is
 based
 on
 complementarity,
 solidarity
 and
 that
 has
 at
 its
 heart,
 the
 peoples’ 
interests 
and 
not 
that 
of 
corporations.
We
need 
an 
agricultural 
system
 that 
is 
based
 on 
food 
sovereignty
and 
not 
based 
on 
growing 
cash 
crops 
for 
the 
markets.

There
 are
 hundreds
 of
 alternatives
 from
 communities,
 from
 social
 movements,
 from
 peasants,
 workers,
 women, 
migrants,
 fishers, 
youth 
and 
economic 
justice 
activists.


One again, thank you for standing strong for farmers at the WTO and holding back on the Trade Facilitation Agreement in the interest of public stockholding. We urge you to continue to work in the same direction until agriculture is out of the WTO altogether.

Sincerely,

Yudhvir Singh

Convener, ICCFM

Rakesh Tikait,
BKU U.P

Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, State President, BKU Punjab,

KS Puttanaiah,
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha,Karnataka

Chamarasa Patil
Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha,Karnataka
Sh Vijay Jawandhia
Shetkari Sanghatna Maharashtra

S Kannaiyan
South Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements

CK Janu
Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha

P Raveendranath,
Kerala Coconut Farmers Association



Chukki Nanjundaswamy, Karnataka Rajya Ryot Sangha, Karnataka

Sella Mutthu,
President, Tamila nadu Farmers Association, Tamilanadu

Nallagounder,
Uzhavar Ulaippalar Katchi,
Tamil Nadu Farmers Assocation

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Florestan Fernandes: a escola nacional do MST

 S. Kannaiyan, Secretario geral, SICCFM

A escola Nacional Forestan Fernades, criada pelo MST, assim foi nomeada em homenagem ao líder e intelectual homônimo da classe trabalhadora brasileira e da América do Sul.  Segundo Paulo, um dos coordenadores de Política nessa instituição, “ Está é uma escola para os membros do movimento. Em São Paulo a escola possui uma estrutura básica necessária,  além disso, existem  centros regionais em Brasília, no Ceará, Pará, e está prevista a abertura de novas filiais em outras regiões do país. Atualmente, são 30 os centros de formação do MST”.

A decisão pela construção deste centro de formação foi tomada em 1996, mas foram necessários três anos para que a primeira escola fosse inaugurada. Neste período, algumas personalidades muito conhecidas passaram a suportar a causa do movimento. Entre eles, o fotografo brasileiro mundialmente reconhecido, Sebastião Salgado, que doou os direitos de publicação de fotografias das lutas e da vida cotidiana dos Sem Terra como fonte de renda para a construção da escola do MST. Chico Buarque e José Saramago também doaram os direitos do livro realizado em parceria com o fotógrafo como contribuição à coleta de fundos para o projeto.

A escola Florestan Fernandes foi construída graças ao trabalho árduo de voluntários que vieram de todo o Brasil. Arquitetos e engenheiros desenharam e ajudaram na construção do edifício que foi inaugurado em 2005. Atualmente, a escola conta com uma boa biblioteca com livros referentes a assuntos diversos, salas de aula, centros de reuniões, acomodações bem conservadas, cozinha e salão para refeições. Além de uma sala de informática e conexão Wi-Fi em todo o prédio. Todos os dias os estudantes expressam suas ideias inovadoras e ateiam as bandeiras do MST e da Via Campesina no pátio da escola.

Mas o que eles fazem na escola do MST? Neste espaço são ministrados treinamentos político em diferentes áreas. Tais quais:

1) Teoria Política: 4 cursos nacionais que duram, cada um, 40 dias, sendo dois destes cursos destinados ao treinamento dos futuros líderes do MST.
2) Um curso para lideres de movimentos sociais realizado em três etapas, cada uma com a duração de 45 dias.
3)Curso intensivo de leitura sistemática de Karl Marx realizado em 6 etapas, cada uma com duração de uma semana.
4) Curso intensivo similar para leitura do trabalho de Karl Marx e dos escritos de  Florestan Fernandes, quem escreveu mais de 60 livros de política clássica.
5) Estudos Latino-americanos. Via Campesina – CLOCK ( Coordenação latino-americana de movimentos sociais) e Via Campesina ALBA – rede de movimentos sociais na América Latina que envia seus estudantes para este curso. Exitem 3 disciplinas  oferecidas sob esta cátedra:

 I- Formação de instrutores de política. Este curso tem uma duração de 40 dias e, no final, os alunos devem apresentar um programa para seus movimentos.  Cerca de 60 estudantes, originários de 16 países, participam dessas aulas.
 II -  Teoria política latino-americana é o curso de maior duração, são três meses de aula.
 III- Especialização em estudos latino-americanos. Este curso é ministrado em parceria com a Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, são 2 anos de aula conduzidos em 5 etapas. Os temas das aulas são variados e inclui filosofia, política, economia, questões agrarias, e teorias organizacionais. Uma fase é ministrada pela escola nacional em São Paulo e as outras na Universidade.

Cursos formais: a escola nacional do MST tem parceria com várias universidades que ministram cursos formais em graduação e pós-graduação. Sete cursos formais são coordenados pela Universidade de Brasília, pela Federal do Rio de Janeiro, pela Universidade de São Paulo (USP) e UNESP, e pela Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC). Cursos de graduação, incluindo arte, drama e poesia nas áreas rurais; pós-graduação em agro-ecologia e educação e saúde também são oferecidos.

Além das aulas, debates, seminários e encontros são realizados para um público variado. Pelo menos 8 seminários são organizados todos os anos sobre diferentes temáticas, como por exemplo estudos latino-americanos. Aos domingos  são feitos ciclos de debate abertos ao público, além de encontros sobre temas variados organizados frequentemente pela escola. Em 2012, cerca de 4100  e, em 2013, 3500 pessoas foram beneficiadas pela escola, tendo participado de diferentes  programas da instituição.

A escola nacional do MST é uma ideia para a solidificação do processo de construção do movimento. Todos os voluntários ficam na escola por um período que varia entre 2 e 4 anos. Neste período, eles realizam trabalhos coletivos com divisão de responsabilidades. Durante minha visita, os coordenadores políticos da instituição eram Paula Djacira e Erivan, ambos colaboravam com outros colegas e com o MST. Esta escola não possui nenhum tipo de suporte do governo e não remunera ninguém. Professores voluntários e estudantes trabalham em conjunto pela instituição e pelo movimento..

Em minha despedida, Paulo me disse que espera que o trabalho feito na escola contribua para a redefinição do futuro da sociedade. Infelizmente, os movimentos camponeses indianos não contam com escolas de formação para seus membros e líderes. Fiquei impressionado pela participação igualitária de jovens, mulheres e homens em todas a atividades seja em sala de aula, seja na cozinha. Outra coisa que me impressionou muito foi a contribuição desta instituição para os estudos latino-americanos e, por consequência,  para a luta de toda a região. A escola é uma demonstração da luta coletiva dos povos da América Latina e isto é algo que não observamos na Ásia e no qual deveríamos nos espelhar.