AFSA – Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa – John Wilson Chair of the Citizens Working Group
In 2013 I spent a day moving around with an organisation working with farmers in Western Kenya supported by AGRA. Not once did I hear anyone talk about the health of the soil. The focus was on urging farmers to become modern farmers by using the chemical inputs that African farmers lag behind with.
This seems to have been the fate of Africa for a century or more now. Outsiders coming to the continent with the next technological solution, with vested interests all in the name of ‘development’.
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) was launched in 2009, is an African initiative, created and run by Africans. It’s an alliance of regional networks that themselves reach to the grassroots all over the continent through their various civil society memberships. The core purpose of AFSA is to influence policies and to promote African solutions for food sovereignty.
During the last 50 or so years as the green revolution has gained a footing across Africa, countless small initiatives have arisen offering alternatives based on regenerating the vibrancy of the soil, communities and cultures. These small initiatives, working with farmers, pastoralists, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples and, more recently, with a range of citizens including consumers, have created their own networks to increase their impact. They are united under the banners of agroecology and food sovereignty.
We’ve been delighted in the last couple of years to establish links with Food Plants Solutions (FPS) who have an approach and outlook that ties in with AFSA’s. We look forward to continuing collaboration to develop appropriate materials together.
AFSA advocates for Agroecology, which:
– is a set of principle-driven practices,
– brings together scientific and indigenous knowledge and
– is a fast-growing social movement.
The practices involve farming as nature does, which means having bio-diversity, ensuring soil cover and minimal or no disturbance of the soil with tillage or chemicals, while also aiming for yields of different products for sale or home consumption.”