To the Co-Conveners and all delegates of the Asian Agricultural Conference,
AT THE FOUNDING CONFERENCE of ICOR the proposal to hold the Asian Agricultural Conference was put forward. Now this Conference is taking place as per that plan. The greatest credit for this goes to the Co-Conveners of this Conference who have put in many weeks of hard work to achieve this.
The developments since the Founding Conference of ICOR have clearly vindicated our decision to hold this Conference. As the crisis of imperialism keeps deepening, the burden of this crisis is increasingly shifted onto the shoulders of the toiling masses and especially the toiling masses of the neo-colonial countries, including the peasantry. Under the name of “industrialization” a massive land-grab is taking place in all ‘developing’ countries, especially the Asian and African countries. New forms of exploitation like contract farming and corporate farming are being unleashed upon the toiling people of the rural areas. Combined with these, by implementing neo-liberal policies under the dictates of the WTO, all help given to the peasantry, whether in the form of subsidies or support prices are being removed. The plight of the landless agricultural laborers is the worst of all. Even the minimum protection of labour law is also denied to them.
We are glad that such a Conference is being held at this crucial juncture and sincerely hope that it will succeed in stimulating new thought on this subject. We hope that this will not remain a singular instance and some mechanism to maintain contact among the participants, to expand the Asian Agricultural Conference, to help the peasant and agricultural labourers’ movements and to continue these important studies even beyond this Conference shall be arrived at. With this hope, we once again wish the best of success to this Conference.
Long live the Worker-Peasant unity!
Workers of the world unite!
Workers and Oppressed People of the World unite!