AGROECOLOGY: the bold future of farming in Africa
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) today launched a publication highlighting the huge potential of agroecology to feed Africa, fix broken food systems and repair damaged landscapes, providing abundant healthy and nutritious food sustainably while increasing incomes and improving climate resilience.
The 88 page illustrated book showcases 15 case studies, showing how agroecology benefits Africa in terms of food and nutrition, livelihoods, restoration of biodiversity, knowledge and innovation, and climate change resilience.
Olivier De Schutter, Co-Chair of IPES-Food and Former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food commented: “If anyone still entertained doubts as to the benefits of agroecology and as to whether it can meet the challenges of this century, this collection of essays provides a compelling answer.”
Leading experts in their fields explain how agroecology reforms food systems to promote better nutrition and health, especially among poor communities; how it diversifies livelihoods and defends the dignity of women farmers; how it enables and empowers us to revive our soils and lands, cultivate relevant crops, advance food sovereignty, and build resilient ecosystems and communities; and how such innovative production systems, based on indigenous knowledge, meet the nutritional, cultural and spiritual needs of Africa’s people.
The publication also answers the question: What is Agroecology? and demonstrates clearly how agroecology contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It draws lessons and conclusions from the case studies and sets out a way forward to make the bold transition to sustainable, effective and equitable food systems.
Hans R Herren, World Food Prize (1995) and Right Livelihood (2013) Laureate commented: “There could not have been a more opportune time to publish Agroecology: The Bold Future of Farming in Africa.”
Agroecology is taking off worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has recently opened an online portal dedicated to agroecology, along with an online discussion forum on Sustainable Farming through agroecology.“There is an avalanche of evidence coming from almost everywhere in the world that agroecology works,” agrees Dr. Million Belay, Coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA).
The book highlights experiences ranging from the orange-fleshed sweet potato that brings health and livelihood in Ghana, to reviving the climate resilient Ankole longhorn cattle in Uganda, and reclaiming life in fragile ecosystems through innovative solutions in Burkina Faso. With the concept of food sovereignty at its core, the book demonstrates that agroecology creates just food systems, cuts greenhouse gases and environmental degradation and provides a sustainable future for us all.
AFSA’s Agroecology Working Group and Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement worked together to produce the book. “What is special about this project is that it brings together the experiences and voices of small-scale producers who actually feed Africa, for all the world to see, hear, and learn from,” notes Mrs. Mariann Bassey Orovwuje, Chairperson of AFSA.
The book calls for no less than a complete transformation of our agricultural and food systems. The book, Agroecology: the bold future of farming in Africa, is available as a free download at http://afsafrica.org/agroecology-the-bold-future-of-farming-in-africa/
Notes to the Editor:
The ALLIANCE FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN AFRICA (AFSA) is a Pan African platform comprising networks and farmer organizations working in Africa to influence policies and to promote African solutions for food sovereignty. AFSA will serve as a continental platform for consolidation of issues pertaining to food sovereignty and together marshal a single and louder voice on issues and tabling clear workable solutions. See more at www.afsafrica.org.
Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM) coordinates and promotes the development of organic farming in Tanzania. TOAM organises and promotes capacity building on organic practices, quality management for compliance to organic standards, facilitating market access, lobbying and advocating for supportive policies, and information collection and distribution. For more information visit www.kilimohai.org
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