Pakistan Kissan Mazdoor Tehreek (PKMT) is a mass-based alliance of small and landless farmers including women farmers. PKMT was formed in 2008 and was a result of a series of discussions amongst small and landless farmers, social and political activists who felt that an organized platform was critical for small and landless farmers to voice their demands based on social and economic constraints that they faced.
PKMT is active in 16 districts cross three provinces, namely Khyber Pakhtunkwa, Punjab and Sindh. The organizational structure is based on a national coordinator, three provincial coordinators and a district coordinator for each operational district. Elections are held every two years, with all positions filled based on consensus of the membership.
The daily management and decision making of the organization is based on the PKMT’s
executive committee which consists of the national coordinator, 3 provincial coordinators and the PKMT Secretary.
Since 2008, PKMT has held its general assembly every year. The PKMT constitution writing was initiated in 2010. The process of formulating the constitution took almost 3 years and was finally approved by the general assembly in 2014.
PKMT has been a strong proponent of food sovereignty and believes that this framework is the most powerful collective response by small producers in rebutting the impacts of free trade and a cohesive alternate to Globalization.
A key principle of food sovereignty is a structural change in society which is only possible with the leadership of landless and small producers; therefore PKMT’s initial efforts were to work with small farmers and landless farmers to build a critical analysis of the socioeconomic and political conditions of peasant and farmers; many study programs were conducted in the villages across the country.
Just and Equitable land distribution is one of the prime objectives of PKMT. This agenda has reflected in the protests and struggles taken up by PKMT.
In addition, as part of the food sovereignty framework, PKMT has also developed a broad campaign on seed sovereignty, contesting corporate hegemony over seed, embedded and advocated by the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO). At the policy level, the organization has denounced Pakistan Amended Seed Act 2015, asking for seed laws that promote the rights of small farmers rather than agro-chemical corporations. PKMT filed a petition in Lahore High Court against this anti farmers seed amended act.
PKMT has taken the lead in collecting and re-generating local and traditional seeds.
Members of PKMT are now maintaining seed banks and ensuring that wheat, rice, corn and vegetables seeds are grown not only for their own seed use but for exchange among farmers in the community and the wider PKMT community.