Africa Faith and Justice Network cosponsored and participated on March 2nd in the launch of the Ghana Integrated Platform for Governance of Land, Water and Seed. AFJN Policy Analyst Ntama Bahati discussed “The Global Trends of Land, Water and Seed Discrimination and Struggles” at this gathering of more than 110 people. Those who gathered included farmers, civil society leaders and traditional chiefs. Government representatives who were invited to the launch did not attend.
This awareness and advocacy conference was one of many which took places across West Africa to launch the overall West Africa Caravan on Land, Water and Seed Struggle. The Ghana platform will continue its activities in a in local communities coordinated by region. The West Africa Caravan’s activities took place in different towns in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. The Caravan’s plan was as follows: representatives of Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Ghana were to join the caravan in Burkina Faso; Côte d’Ivoire in Mali; Mauritania, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Léone and Guinea Conakry in Senegal. All participants converged in Dakar, Senegal, on March 19th where they submitted an advocacy briefing and policy booklet to authorities. This document contains for example a sustainability comparison between the industrial large scale farming and the small farmer holders. This data from Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration or ETC Group shows that the industrial farming produces 20% of the global food supply chain, uses 80% of fossil fuel, 70% of the overall water used for agriculture, farms 70% to 80% of arable land, farms only 12 plant species, raises 12 animals species, responsible for 44% to 57 % of green house emission, destroys more than 50% of farming jobs. To the contrary small farm holders create more than 30% of jobs, emit 15% to 30 % of green gas emission, raise more than 7000 animal species, farm 7000 plant species, uses 20% to 30 % of arable land, uses 30% of water used in agriculture, responsible for 30% of the green house emission and produces 80% of the food supply chain. This document will continue to be shared with leaders in member nations of the Economic Organization of West African States (ECOWAS) and beyond.
Now that the caravan is over each national platform is going back home to bring the message at the grassroots and national level. This year AFJN will be part of such activities in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.