"We want to usher in economic independence of small time farmers and are determined to create an egalitarian world by ending the hegemony of the global monopolies who determine the market prices of farm produce," Robin Murray, Chairperson of the Liberation said.
Inaugurating the maiden meeting jointly hosted by Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTKA), here last evening,he said "I am proud to share my thoughts on micro projects that can usher in changes for better in the land of the Mahatma".
The marginal farmers should come on a joint platform to exchange their produce with the member groups, to ensure fair prices through direct trade.
Thirty-odd delegates from Latin America, Africa and Europe are taking part in the meeting.
International Nut Producer Cooperative (INPC) Chairperson Tomy Mathew said it was strange to note that the "farmer-community" does not have the right to determine prices of their produce.
Farmers do not get protection from government, which often fails to take tangible action by suitably intervening in the market or by providing raw materials at subsidised rates, Mathew claimed.
He said the farmers' associations were formed basically to remove the anomality and help the community lead a "dignified" life, free from harassment and exploitation.
He called upon the government to provide subsidies to those who come forward to promote organic farming.
He claimed that Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK) had been in the forefront for the last three years by procuring select cash crops, by paying remunerative prices to farmers despite market fluctuations and facilitating direct export to European and other global markets.
Most of the cashew produces exported by FTAK is being bought by the London-based fair trade company - `Liberation Foods C I C Ltd'- whose shares are held by around 12 farmer organisations dotted in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia including FTAK.
The International Nut Producers Cooperative (INPC) the apex body that controls the entire share holdings of the member farmers is joint platform of the `Liberation' entity.