Mobilizing African Civil Societies for AgroEcology and Influencing Decision Makers and Funders
Lead Organization: Alliance for Food Sovereignty Africa (AFSA)
Partner Organizations: Tanzania Organic Agriculture Movement (TOAM); Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO); African Biodiversity Network (ABN); Coalition for the Protection of African Genetic Heritage (COPAGEN); Comparing and Supporting Endogenous Development (COMPAS); Friends of the Earth (AFSA) Africa; Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC); Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM) Association; Eastern and Southern African Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESSAFF); La Via Campesina Africa; FAHAMU; World Neighbours; Network of Farmers’ and Agricultural Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA); Community Knowledge Systems (CKS); and Plate forme Sous Regionale des Organizations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale (PROPAC).
Location(s): Work coordinated in Tanzania but involved several African countries.
Award: $200,000 over 24 months (2014-2016)
This project will make an evidence-based case for agroecology as the long-term solution for farming in Africa. Collaborating organizations in this pan-African network will educate and mobilize African civil society to influence decision makers both regionally and locally through case study collection and analysis, creation of an African advocacy platform on agroecology and dissemination of researched evidence to decision makers in alliance with acclaimed universities.
- Generation of Agroecology case studies;
- Design and printing;
- Launch and dissemination.
Challenges that the Collaborative faced(s)
- Translation (from English to French and vice versa) was a challenge as this is a very specialist area using culturally specific technical terms unknown to many regular translators.
- Quality assurance: only half of the case study proposals were accepted by our panel of experts. Also getting print quality photos from the field was a problem.
- Putting together a reliable team of design and print professionals, with the capacity and competence to produce very high quality documents took a while.
- 41 cases reviewed by panel;
- 28 case studies (2 x 14 En & Fr) from 10 countries written, edited, designed, translated and uploaded to website;
- 2000 packs of 10 case studies printed in two languages;
- High profile launch at FAO Regional Agroecology Symposium in Dakar, Senegal;
- Hard copy packs distributed to civil society organisations across Africa.
We at TOAM have been proud to support the cause of Food Sovereignty by bringing to light the experiences of many thousands of farmers, demonstrating the many benefits of Agroecology. We encouraged case study authors to include direct quotes, amplifying small-scale farmers voices, and letting their words tell the story.
Mariam Ndiaye, a Senegalese farmer, commented: ”The lands on which it was impossible to grow are now being used. I have practiced rice production for a long time and my yields have never been so abundant. I thank the good Lord.”
Zambian farmer, Jones Thompson, explained: “As organic farmers we have always used local plants for pest control. We encourage many wild plant species to grow on our fallow land and field margins that we can use as pesticides. Many of the plants have other uses too such as increasing soil fertility or their flowers helping support pollinators that maximise our crop yields.”
Issouf Ouedraogo, a young man from Burkina Faso, revealed: “The main lesson I learned is that man can rebuild what he himself deconstructed and destroyed. Both the destruction of biodiversity and land degradation are not inevitable. It is possible to reverse the trend if we choose to.”