Climate Change campaigners in Zambia have drafted a policy favoring a shift to agroecology against the traditional industrial agriculture practices that heighten climate change practices inimical to promoting and safeguarding food systems.
A consortium of Civil Society Organisations-spearheaded by the Agriculture Consultative Forum (ACF) contend that the persistent application of industrial farming practices has eroded Africa’s food security.
The face of the industry, the bedrock of Africa’s food security, has been heightened by the consistent application of fertilisers and other chemicals that affect soil texture, affecting yields and further threatening the promotion of traditional seed that carries the nutrition for effective body growth.
Speaking in Lusaka during the ‘stakeholders’ engagement on the drafting of the national agroecology strategy, Wednesday, ACF executive director, Masiye Nawiko noted the magnitude of the effects imparted on the agriculture sector through the long-term use of the ‘uncouth practices’ that have eroded the continent’s desire to be food secure, hence the call for policy change.
The consortium, embracing members of the Zambia Climate Change Network (ZCCN), anti-climate changer campaigners, among other players that have joined hands in seeking reversal of the ‘loss and damages caused to the continent through bad agriculture practices that have contributed to climate change seek the adoption of the agroecology law to reverse the effects.
During the engagement at which the consortium handed over the ‘blank draft copy’ to the Government through the ministries of agriculture, fish and livestock, the consortium contend that the persistent encouragement of the industrial practices that have affected among others, soil texture, needed to be redressed and replace with agro ecological practices that are safe and predictable.
Mr. Nawiko, one of the members of the technical group reviewing Zambia’s National Agriculture Investment Policy to enhance the country’s food security, after the earlier one failed for among other reasons, lack of financing, poor participation of players, argued that agroecology was the ideal mode for Africa to retain its agriculture potential and reduce “food handouts”
“We have reviewed the effects of the current practices (industrial agriculture) and we have drafted an ecologically inclined policy that will reverse the fate of the sector after years of industrial practices”
And Caritas Zambia, a faith based organization and one of the lead campaigners of agroecology-globally noted various misgivings which according to analyst, Eugene Ngandu contended needed serious reviews to sustain agriculture practices.
Ngandu, whose organization is part of the COP 27 in Egypt in his presentation and support for policy shift cited among other reasons for migration that agroecology was Socially Just; Safe and provides healthy food, reduces rural poverty because of reduced cost of production and respect of Indigenous Knowledge and farmer’s rights.
Other reasons relating to its environmental friendliness, environmentally friendly, less soil degradation, no loss of biodiversity, no contamination of the ecosystem, economically viable, reliance on farm resources, increased income per unit area and highly marketable products.
It is providing more money for families from farm produce, and provides more funds for the government to spend on other development agenda while promoting nutrition due to Multi-cropping.
Caritas, concerned at the increasing support by African Governments towards the use of fertilisers at the expense of local seeds and types of manuals, compost and other soil conservation methods urges technocrats in the fields of land, forests and environment to strive to to promote practices that safeguard the natural resources.
The players are asking for the inclusion of other small grains and more legumes in the FISP.
There is a need to promote and contribute to the preservation of indigenous seeds and foods.
The Government, through its technocrats in working with interest groups should advocate for agroecology and help influence the government to recognize its importance in improving the lives of community members.
Source: Farmers Review Africa