Local2Global Advocates for Food Sovereignty

Saturday, August 30, 2014

African Food Sovereignty and the Push to Replace Farmers' Markets with Supermarkets

African Food Sovereignty and the Push to Replace Farmers' Markets with Supermarkets

Synopsis of coming article ....

While GMO's, "land grabs,"  hunger, and the safety and politics of food donations,   and some other issues are regularly discussed with regard to African Food Sovereignty, little to no attention has been paid to the ever-growing encroachment of supermarkets into Sub Saharan Africa. With very little and poor fresh produce, lots of processed foods and other nonfood products such as pharmaceuticals etc., supermarkets, the posh, modern style of life, are growingly replacing farmers' markets in Sub Saharan Africa and raising alarming health concerns as well as concerns regarding  their impact on livelihoods of Sub Saharan Africa's small and family farmers.

Yet such an inquiry and examination is not only necessary and critical to African Food Sovereignty, but such an examination also sheds great light on the role supermarkets play in the lack of food sovereignty in this country, the US, and all over the modern world and the subsequent decline in the health of US habitants and others around the modern world.

Furthermore, and interestingly, such an examination also plays a role   in deconstructing the whole notion of "food deserts" defined as the lack of supermarkets correlated with private transportation ownership in certain communities and the subsequent government policies subsidizing Walmart and other corporate grocers to indeed sell their "food products" in so-called "food deserts" rather than subsidizing a truly, healthier choice which is also "less modern" and more "traditional, " farmer's markets. Note this latter choice would also appear to enrich local communities versus large corporations.

A look at new supermarkets in Sub Saharan Africa shows how organic, locally grown produce, sold at farmers markets is slowly being replaced by cheaper and unhealthy processed food products, how farmers consequently loose income and eventually their livelihoods all together, and how communities and whole swaths of humanity-on the subcontinent loose their health following the wholesale introduction of unhealthy food products in the modern, posh option of supermarkets.

The foreign ownership of such supermarkets also directly confronts the idea of African Food Sovereignty as well.

Watching supermarkets take over  farmers markets on the Sub Continent reveals how "modernization" has led to our health decline, the decline of our food sovereignty, and the concentration of wealth and power in large "food" product corporations all over "the modern" world. .Such a development also raises the question of whether "modernization" has been overall good for humanity.

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