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Alliance for Food Sovereignty for Africa

AFSA Media Release: 6 Nov 2015

AGROECOLOGY - THE BOLD FUTURE FOR AFRICA

Over 25 African civil society organizations and networks representing hundreds of millions of small-scale farmers today urge African governments to adopt Agroecology as the future of farming in Africa. AFSA also launches a new series of African case studies to show the benefits of Agroecology.

As African leaders meet at the FAO Regional Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, in Dakar 5-6 Nov 2015, it is time for us to recognize that agroecology is the future of farming in Africa!

Industrial agriculture is a dead end. It claims to have raised yields in places but it has done so at great cost, with extensive soil damage, huge biodiversity loss and negative impacts on nutrition, food contamination and groundwater pollution. Agroecology is the antithesis of our conventional, corporate-driven, monoculture-based farming systems.

Where conventional agriculture seeks to simplify, agroecology embraces complexity. Where conventional agriculture eliminates biodiversity, agroecology celebrates it. Where conventional agriculture de-skills farmers, agroecology is knowledge intensive, building on traditional agricultural practices with modern research and technology to put farmers in control. Where conventional agriculture offers one-size-fits-all fixes like GMOs, chemical fertilisers and pesticides, agroecology provides local solutions to local problems. Where conventional agriculture pollutes and degrades, agroecology regenerates and restores, resisting climate change, working with nature - not against her.

AFSA Coordinator Dr. Million Belay Ali said, “The industrial agriculture has contributed hugely to climate change, disrupted the life of rural food producers, caused the spread of noncommunicable diseases, destroyed soil, polluted our environment and eroded our culture. Africa has a solution. With policy support and research engagement, it is possible to enhance the productivity of our seeds without destroying our environment. We have a responsibility to our children. We do not need to adopt a mode of agriculture which is destroying the European and North American soils and peoples.”

Elizabeth Mpofu, La Via Campesina International General Coordinator, commented: "Agroecology makes food production more secure regardless of what the weather brings. Agroecology promotes food sovereignty and ensures everyone's right to food. As small-scale food producers, agroecology limits our reliance on external inputs. We harvest and save our seeds; we make our own organic fertilizers and control pests using traditional methods.

“We are calling our governments to support and promote agroecology practices instead of industrial food production systems that are a false and temporary solution. We need our governments to protect us and ensure our children a future in which they can feed themselves with nutritious food supported by a healthy environment!"

AFSA is making an evidence-based, coherent case for agroecology as the sustainable long-term solution for farming in Africa. The case studies in this collection show how agroecology benefits Africa in terms of food security and sovereignty, nutrition, poverty reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity conservation, cultural and gender sensitivity, democracy, and economic performance. With agroecology, African farmers produce abundant healthy food sustainably. The case studies are available online in both English and French at http://afsafrica.org/case-studies/

AFSA has issued a statement to mark the FAO Agroecology event, calling on African leaders to redirect their efforts towards Agroecology – the future of farming in Africa! The statement is available at http://afsafrica.org/agroecology-the-bold-future-for-africa/

ENDS

For more information and interviews contact:
Million Belay Ali, AFSA Coordinator, millionbelay@gmail.com, (in English/Amharic) Tel: +251 911 402 403

Amadou Kanoute, CICODEV, amadou.kanoute@cicodev.org, Tel: +221 78 124 68 84 (in French/English)

Famara Diedhiou, FAHAMU, famara@fahamu.org, +221 76 29 17 251 (in French / English)

 


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