Land grabs and land rights in Eritrea
From the article about the re-peasantisation in Araponga I learned that farmers initiative to organize themselves leads the way to establishment of organizations which in turn protect the legal and economic rights of the farmers. Organization is a very powerful method. After all, we are social beings made to co-operate. Everything local farmers can do to fight the handing over of their traditional lands to few foreign investors starts from being organized.
But if we are to blame anything, then the article ‘The Smart Lane’ provides it! The real underlying reason why we have this global problem of misuse and injustice is the growing lack of respect for people and nature and the excessive love of money. And we are paying the price through unpredictable food prices, tough economy, uneasy relations, disappearing greenery, shortage of water, etc. I would like to laud the writer for discussing the issue of values and morals in agriculture and economics. I don’t think there is book on agriculture, or economics, or ecology, or natural management, which raises morality as a solution. Greed is rooted in human nature. Greed is the problem, seeing everything in terms of ‘me’ not ‘us’. I think that the time has come for the anthropocentric attitude, with all its positive sides, to be properly revised. Your magazine should also highlight the role of ethics and morals in everything, be it politics, economics, or science.
Honesty is the best policy. Having respect to everything and everyone is the springboard to efficiently managing resources. I mean the science is there but why do it? Farmers in villages are poor with no attractive appearance. They have no money. So it is easy for politicians and other leaders in cities to ignore these kinds of people. This is why rural development works must be like a missionary work. The real interest should be helping and this requires ethics and morals. Or the work will not succeed. People who work in organizations dedicated at developing rural people can be seen as saints. We need to live by higher standards to help rural people. If not, our work will not bear fruit. And the great pleasure we get from helping!! No match for it! I felt it, trust me.
Your coverage of the issue of land is very important. I came to learn about the real nature of the scheme from your magazine, from an interview with one expert (woman) on the issue published a year or so ago. In my country, there is no land grab schemes, thankfully, but insecure land right is still a problem for traditional farmers. Arable land is re-distributed every 7-10 years making proper land care uninteresting for farmers. The government is trying to change this.
Thanks for reading and keep sending your great magazine. I hope to participate more in the future.