We believe in Food Sovereignty for everyone, everywhere

Despite the myth that industrial agriculture feeds the world,
over a billion people go hungry. Most of them farmers.

The dominant agricultural system commodifies food,
 detaching it from its origin and disregarding
the lands and hands that cultivate it.

It pits producers and consumers against each other,
 erases local food systems,
 perpetuates climate change,
 and dehumanizes us all.

... A Growing Culture -

In September 2022, leaders of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) surprised thousands of in-person and virtual delegates to its annual African Green Revolution Forum with the announcement that both the organization and its signature event were “rebranding.” It turns out, they dropped “green revolution” from their names. But you wouldn’t have known it from the launch event at the Forum.

In late July, a short article was published in a Malawian newspaper: “Press Release on Organization of Seed Fairs.” Issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development, in conjunction with the Seed Traders Association of Malawi, the short statement advised the public that “only quality certified seed suppliers registered with Government to produce and/or market seed should be allowed to display seed at such events.” The release was signed by Bright Kumwembe for the Agriculture Ministry.

The Africa Food Systems Forum Partners Group is made up of a coalition of leading actors in African agriculture all focused on putting farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economies.

The pressure continues to mount on donors to the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to stop funding the failing 16-year initiative in favor of agroecological programs in Africa. African civil society and faith leaders greeted delegates to AGRA's annual Green Revolution Forum with a press conference on September 1, 2022 highlighting donors' failure to respond to previous demands and calls to move Africa away from an unhealthy dependence on fossil-fuel-based fertilizers, the supposed catalyst for AGRA's productivity revolution.

A year earlier, African faith leaders had presented their open letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation demanding that it stop promoting industrial agriculture in Africa. They joined the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) as a press conference to demand that donors stop funding AGRA.

It is not surprising, of course, that those with financial interests in the current input-intensive systems are responding to growing calls for agroecology with attacks on its efficacy as a systematic approach that can sustainably feed a growing population. What is surprising is that such responses are so ill-informed about the scientific innovations agroecology offers to small-scale farmers who are being so poorly served by “green revolution” approaches.

One recent article from a researcher associated with a pro-biotechnology institute in Uganda was downright dismissive, equating agroecology with “traditional agriculture,” a step backward toward the low-productivity practices that prevail today.

Agriculture News

Aljazeera: Africa is not a monoculture; We reject the plan to make it one.

Efforts to impose industrial agriculture on African countries threaten the sustainability of African food production

September 2021: Organisers of this year’s African Green Revolution Forum claim the annual gathering that ended on September 10 provided a “single coordinated African voice” in advance of the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit. That voice sings the praises of capital-intensive technological innovation, with the host Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) playing conductor and trying to keep donors, governments, companies and UN agencies singing the same tune.

A very different choir, featuring a diverse range of voices, sang a very different song outside the virtual halls of the Forum. The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), representing some 200 million small-scale food producers in its continent-wide network, directly challenged AGRA’s claim to represent Africa.

Elephant: Africa’s Land Use Problem: Is Green Revolution Agriculture a Solution or a Cause? 

December 3, 2021 - It is a myth that the only way to increase productivity on existing agricultural lands is through Green Revolution programmes and evidence shows that they are among the principal causes of unsustainable land use.

Food Tank: UN Backs Seed Sovereignty in Landmark Peasants’ Rights Declaration

On December 17, 2018 - the United Nations General Assembly took a quiet but historic vote, approving the Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas, by a vote of 121-8 with 52 abstentions. The declaration, which was the product of some 17 years of diplomatic work led by the international peasant alliance La Via Campesina, formally extends human rights protections to farmers whose “seed sovereignty” is threatened by government and corporate practices.

Most developing countries voted in favor of the resolution, while many developed country representatives abstained. The only “no” votes came from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, Israel, and Sweden.

How does agroecology influence household food security? While previous studies have found that adopting agroecological practices can have a positive effect on smallholder household food security, there is limited understanding of how this transition occurs. This mixed-methods study draws on data from an ongoing agroecology project in Malawi to engage with debates about if and how an agricultural paradigm shift can contribute to smallholder food security. Researchers interviewed 60 farmer participants of an agroecology intervention to examine the mechanisms by which recent adoption of crop diversification and soil management practices had altered household access to a stable, adequate and diverse diet.

Agroecology for Food Insecure Countries, 2020

Building sustainable farming foundations with agroecology

In the highlands of Madagascar, farmers produce rainfed rice, roots and tubers, and fodder crops to maintain their livestock. Like many small farmers, they are limited by land and resources;

increasing the productivity of their cropland is thus the goal of many, but without depending on expensive agricultural technologies and inputs. For decades, NGOs, researchers and farmers have collaborated to promote locally appropriate agroecological practices that improve the sustainability of farming systems by increasing efficiency, substituting external inputs for locally available ones, and redesigning cropping systems.

Agroecology increasingly has gained scientific and policy recognition as having potential to address environmental and social issues within food production, but concerns have been raised about its implications for food security and nutrition, particularly in low-income countries. This review paper examines recent evidence (1998–2019) for whether agroecological practices can improve human food security and nutrition. A total of 11,771 articles were screened by abstract and title, 275 articles included for full review, with 56 articles (55 cases) selected. A majority of studies (78%) found evidence of positive outcomes in the use of agroecological practices on food security and nutrition of households in low and middle-income countries. Agroecological practices included crop diversification, intercropping, agroforestry, integrating crop and livestock, and soil management measures. More complex agroecological systems, that included multiple components (e.g., crop diversification, mixed crop-livestock systems and farmer-to-farmer networks) were more likely to have positive food security and nutrition outcomes.