On the occasion of the Egyptian Presidential and People's council elections (september 2005), the LCHR in collaboration with its' farmer partners in the different governorates have prepared the Farmers Document, and we hope that CSOs in Egypt organize campaigns to implement these demands for a better world and a safe and a decent ife for all Egyptians
Both male and female farmers are the ones who built civilization and human history for thousands of years, farmers are the ones who provide people with food, so they are considered one of the most important elements in the survival of the country.
The economic and social conditions of these farmers were deteriorated because of policies they didn’t help in creating. That is why farmer movements have appeared worldwide demanding the protection of their rights in safe land possession and a decent life.
There is an international recognition with farmers rights to be liberated from fear, poverty and enjoy their economic, social, civil, political and cultural rights, and that all governments must guarantee farmers and their families the right in an adequate living standard by enabling them to farm and have possession of a piece of land, own a suitable house and enjoy public services, such as: electricity, clean water, drainage systems … etc.
Farmers and their families in Egypt demand the members of the people’s and local councils, political parties and forces and all CSOs to provide them with solidarity in their struggle for their rights in:
- An adequate living standard, by providing them with enough and healthy food, clean water, health care, electricity, transportation, communication, information, good education, suitable income that satisfies the needs of their families, suitable housing and clothing and be allowed to establish and reinforce farmers foundations independent from the government that express and defend their interests.
- Managing their agrarian resources by owning appropriate pieces of agrarian lands, have access to farming resources and requirements, providing these lands with irrigation water and drainage systems, be provided with financial and technical support to manage and maintain these resources and protect their environment from pollution.
- Safe farming, by defining the plantations that they want or refuse to grow, access and usage of the outcomes of the agrarian research centers and the services that they provide for free to follow up development in the agricultural field.
- Participation in planning effectively in programs related to rural development and contribute in the decision making process related to their issues and financing their agrarian projects, in addition to providing them with the agrarian requirements and facilities for marketing their products.
- Access to information about national and international programs and policies related to agriculture and its’ technology development that benefit them.
Farmers demand a free and democratic country where wealth is distributed equally among citizens to contribute in making a better future for everyone, and that will not happen unless the emergency law is canceled along with all laws that bind freedoms and the right in political participation, release all detainees, stop the torture policies and official violence against citizens in police stations and otherdetention areas.
The state’s constitution is being modified to guarantee the separation between authorities and give the judicial authority its’ independency and Egypt could become a parliament republic where the President’s authorities are reduced that guarantees all of its’ citizens safety and a decent life, and stop the violations of the executive authority.
Farmers and their families demand that their problems must be discussed in all of the media means with suitable methods for the rural areas, as farmers represent more than 50% of Egypt’s population.
That will not be achieved without achieving the farmers demands:
- The state must adopt an alternative policies based on faith and believing in farmers axial role in agriculture and providing food for the society, and guarantee their rights in safe land possession and farming.
- The necessity of issuing a new law that organize farmers relation with their lands to guarantee their right in owning these lands, in addition to defining a safe period for the rental contract that is no less than 5 years and rental value that is suitable to their income and the result of the agrarian process. In addition to issuing a law that allows farmers to establish associations and bonds that defend their rights and interests.
- The farmers who have been evicted out of their lands because of implementing law no. 96 for the year 1992 must receive alternative lands that are no less than 5 acres (feddans) in the state’s reclaimed lands.
- Allow farmers to own the state’s reclaimed lands with long term installments that is no less than 20 years without interests.
- The necessity of solving problems related to irrigation water, underground water, using drainage water and cleaning waterways and canals in a limited time period, in addition to stopping all forms of indirect attempts to sell farmers irrigation and drinking water.
- Dropping the debts of the agrarian trust and development bank that farmers owe to it and their lands were taken from them because of implementing law no. 96 for the year 1992, and reconsider the bank’s debts regarding small owners who own less than 5 feddans by not collecting any interests for these debts, as these interests piled up and they weren’t able to pay them back, and allow them to payback these debts on long period suitable to their income and without any interests at least for 20 years.
- Let these farmers own the homes that they live in, especially the ones owned by the state, and facilitate the installment payment process for these homes on time periods that are no less than 20 years with symbolic prices and without any interests, as a guarantee for farmers right in adequate housing.
- Make defined plans with clear and suitable time periods and budgets to solve farmers housing, health and educational problems. These programs and plans must guarantee farmers to enjoy all services that guarantee them a decent life. These plans must not exceed the period of 5 years (the ruling period for the president or members of the people’s, consultative or local councils) to solve farmers problems and eliminate sickness, illiteracy and poverty in Egypt.
The Farmers Document is considered the general demands for farmers who represent more than half the population, their demands must be a part of the national program for comprehensive reform for a country big enough for everyone that guarantee all citizens a decent and safe life and a better, more just and humane future.