By Johanna Lundahl, AGRA Watch Intern
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) works to influence policy in Africa around community rights, family farming, promotion of traditional knowledge, the environment and natural resource management. This Saturday, October 15th, AFSA, along with the US-based Farmworkers Association of Florida, will be awarded the 2016 Food Sovereignty Prize by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. AFSA will be honored for its work in building a strong movement of people directly impacted by expanding corporate agriculture, including land and water grabs, and advancing food production systems controlled by food producers, making nutritious food produced in harmony with planet available to everyone.
Bernard Guri, Chairperson of AFSA, who will accept the Food Sovereignty Prize on its behalf, explains in a press release that traditional, more stable, and environmentally-friendly African agriculture is under attack from foreign corporations’ business interests: “Africa has a myriad of ways to feed her people and to keep her environment safe. However, a few international corporations from the global North have generated approaches strictly for their own profit by misleading our leaders and our people, stealing our seeds and culture, and destroying our environment.”
In response, AFSA is working toward the transition of agroecology over industrial agricultural methods. In July, it release its Theory of Change that articulates its short and long-term goals and the need for sustainability, resilience, and agricultural biodiversity in farming systems in the face of climate change.
Formed in 2008, AFSA has 25 member organizations who work together to strengthen the movements for food sovereignty and agroecology across Africa through its three primary work areas: Lands Grabs, Seed Sovereignty, and Agroecology. Members include Friends of the Earth Africa, the Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Development (CIKOD), The African Biodiversity Network (ABN), La Via Campesina, and the African Center for Biodiversity(ACB), among others. AFSA has long been a partner of AGRA Watch. Several AFSA leaders participated in the 2014 Africa-US Food Sovereignty Strategy Summit, which CAGJ/AGRA Watch hosted in Seattle.
AFSA champions small family farming and production systems based on agroecological and indigenous approaches that lead to food sovereignty and sustainable community livelihoods. To resist the corporate industrialization of African agriculture, which results in land grabbing and the destruction of indigenous biodiversity, ecosystems, livelihoods, and cultures, ASFA sees that, “the time for agroecology and food sovereignty is now”.