Family Farm Defenders (Kansas Chapter)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa Launched December 4, 2011 at the People's Space at the 17th UN Conference on Climate Change

Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa Launched at the People’s Space of the 17th United Nations Conference on Climate Change at Kwa Zulu Natal University in Durban, South Africa, December 4, 2011
On December 4, , 2011, The African Biodiversity Network, and other environmental, small farmer and indigenous organizations in Africa such as IPACC, Indigenous Peoples of Africa Co-ordinating Committee, World Neighbors, Roppa, Réseau des organisations paysannes et de producteurs agricole, Compas, (COMPAring and Supporting endogenous development) INADES, -Formation International Kenya Office, Friends of the Earth Africa, PROPAC, Sub-Regional Platform of Peasant Organizations of Central Africa, COPAGEN, PELUM, fabann, ESAFF and La Via Campesina in Africa, launched the Alliance on Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) in Durban, SA in the People’s Space of the 17th UN Conference on Climate Change, known as COP 17. As everywhere in South East Africa, there was singing and dancing,--in this case by a youth group from Malawi led by Walter Mugave of Rescope as well as by participants who sang in harmony and danced a pantomime of the popular resistance song, led by South African Activists, “My Ma was a kitchen girl; my My pa was a garden boy; that’s why I'm a farmer now,” sometimes replaced by that’s why, “I'm a socialist now!” Missing were the frequent cries of Amandla! eweitu! Roughly translated as, “The power; it is ours,” in a call and response format. As always, this singing and dancing or marching together was spiritually uplifting, unifying, energizing and fun.
AFSA's funders and supporters include the Gaia Foundation.
The Alliance is a network of African networks, including the above named organizations.

Food sovereignty is a doctrine that was developed by the Via Campesina organization in 1993 to address the corporate control over food and agriculture and the demise of small farmers. It includes: 1) that healthy, nutritious and culturally appropriate food is a basic human right; 2) the promulgation of land reform and rural vitalization as well as the principle of nondiscrimination on any grounds in access to land and everything it takes to be a farmer and a special recognition for the need to fight for the equality of women; 3) the conservation of natural resources including livestock breeds, seeds and water and a commitment to sustainable agriculture; 4) support of small farmers and rural livelihoods as opposed to large scale commercial farming; 5)
peace and justice, the non oppression of the peoples, as a social prerequisite to food sovereignty; and 6) true democratic control over food and agriculture.
AFSA identifies 8 major threats to African Food Sovereignty including 1) Bill Gates’ AGRA; 2)biofuels which are causing land grabbing and commercialization; 3) the spread of GMO’s; 4 ) narrowing of and decrease in quality of the food base; 5)increase in food prices; 6) decrease in biodiversity and destruction of indigenous knowledge; 7) climate change; and 8) little support for family farming. AFSA sees the solution lying in increasing the importance of agroecology based on the IASSTD Report.
AFSA’s vision is:
· The harmony of nature and development
· Harnessing traditional knowledge
· All peoples controlling resources and other decisions
· Supporting family farming, pastoralism, hunting and gathering;
· Resisting corporate takeover such as climate smart agriculture
· Increasing food sovereignty.
One important principle of AFSA is that neither it nor its members accept funding from AGRA and it is absolutely against GMO’s.
AFSA’s strategies include:
· Campaigning, lobbying, research, advocacy on issues of climate change, biosafety and seeds and land and agro fuels;
· Providing a forum to discuss and analyze issues challenges and policies
· Building relationships with strategic institutions and
· Promotion of best agroecological practices in family farming, through research, documentation and up scaling of African innovation.
For more information see the official Press Release linked above.

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