The Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) based in Sri Lanka has made food the central focus of its work. By connecting farmers, labourers, agricultural experts, academics and activists, MONLAR is planting the seeds for an economy that is more sustainable and respectful of life.
Members meet in local people’s planning forums to share skills as well as seeds. The planning forums work together to protect their environments from harm and exploitation. Staff members speak in local media on issues of concern, like the protection of the Muthurajawela marshlands, home of more than 400 distinct species of flora and fauna.
MONLAR advocates in the interests of small farmers who produce 70% of the world’s food on less than one hectare of land. It campaigns to improve the living and working conditions of Sri Lanka’s plantation workers as well as their pay. MONLAR speaks out on the exploitative micro-finance model operating in Sri Lanka.
It promotes regenerative or agro-ecological approaches based on locally produced inputs, multi-cropping and empowering farmers (especially women). Food sovereignty is central to its work.
MONLAR has pressured the Department of Agriculture to recognise the place of small farmers in the local food economy, more important during the Covid-19 pandemic when costly inputs are out of reach. It is part of the global peasant movement Via Campesina and other regional groupings.
Read Dhammika’s story in Grow a Garden to Survive.
national campaigns, for example to improve the living and working conditions in the plantation sector
annual farmer field schools to teach ecological agriculture to 50 new practitioners
local organisations belong to local People's Planning Forums