[Kampala, Uganda, November 3, 2021] AFSA is happy to announce the publication of a new book, “STORIES OF AGROECOLOGY AND THE CLIMATE CRISIS: REPORTS OF GRASSROOTS INNOVATIONS BY JOURNALISTS FROM 14 AFRICAN COUNTRIES.”
The book brings together grassroots stories of good practices on agroecology and its overall benefits in attaining food security and a climate-resilient future in Africa, presenting agroecology as a viable way to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Through agroecology and food sovereignty perspectives, AFSA teamed with pan-African journalists from 14 African countries to depict the struggle, difficulties, hopes, and dreams of climate change adaptation in Africa.
They documented fascinating narratives about the enormous benefits of agroecology in protecting agricultural biodiversity, diversifying rural and urban livelihood options, and ensuring food security in the face of alarming biodiversity, climate, and hunger crises in Africa.
African countries have long suffered the brunt of climate change-related disasters, although contributing little to the cause. Africa’s ability to adapt to climate change heavily depends on its ability to transform the food and agricultural system into an environmentally sound, resilient, healthy, and sustainable sector.
To this end, agroecology offers farmers and food producers the practices to grow food responsibly, efficiently, and sustainably even in the face of climate change.
Dr. Million Belay, AFSA General Coordinator, said, “The fact that the climate crisis is real and palpable on our continent is a well-established fact. What is less clear is the disarray in our governments’ coping strategies and, as this book demonstrates, the vast array of promising initiatives from our citizenry. This book is about how farmers and communities throughout the continent are adapting to climate change. On average, agriculture provides a living for about 70% of our population. This indicates that we should examine the continent’s preparedness for impending climatic disaster through the prism of food and agriculture, which is often overlooked and dismissed in most policy discussions on climate change adaptation.”
With agroecology, smallholder food producers in Africa work alongside nature to adapt their land use to changing environments, use water more efficiently, and build soil health so that they can continue to thrive as the climate changes.
The reports by African journalists provide critical insight to elevate and expand the discourse around food and agriculture as the driving force and solution to the climate crisis as the United Nations’ Big Climate Summit, COP-26, gets underway in Glasgow, ignoring the contribution of industrial agriculture, which accounts for a quarter of global emissions.
According to Bridget Mugambe, AFSA’s Program Coordinator, “COVID-19 demonstrates the relevance of localized food systems and resilient economies in the face of global shocks. Similarly, this book demonstrates how adopting and scaling up agroecology best practices can help African small-scale food producers and communities gain access to and control over local food systems, allowing communities and economies to become more self-sufficient and resilient in the face of global crises.”
We hope that the stories in this book will spark a candid and meaningful conversation about the importance of transitioning to agroecology in Africa and that it serves as a reminder that supporting smallholder food producers and defending their rights to food sovereignty is the most viable and sustainable path to food security and climate change adaptation in Africa.