Kigali forum on agro-ecology: agro-ecological transition in motion

Under the Support Programme for economic initiatives that contribute to ecological and social transformation of rural areas (PAYROLL) implemented in the Sahel (Mali, Niger, Burkina) and Great Lakes (Burundi, Rwanda, DRC) , Inades Formation Burundi, Deputy Regional representative PAIES, ACORD Rwanda, a program partner in Rwanda, organized from 14 to 16 September 2016 a forum on agro-ecology in collaboration with the Catholic Committee against Hunger for Development ( CCFD) – Terre Solidaire and the French Development Agency (AFD).

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Forum Opening Address by the Director General of Planning in the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda

From 14 to 16 September 2016 was held in the Hotel Nobleza Kigali – Rwanda, a forum on agro-ecology with the theme: “Agroecology in the Great Lakes Region: approaches, issues, practices and perspective. ” The Forum, to be part of the Support Programme for economic initiatives that contribute to ecological and social transformation of rural areas (PAYROLL) implemented in the Sahel (Mali, Niger, Burkina) and Great Lakes ( Burundi, Rwanda, DRC), was organized by Inades Formation Burundi which ensures regional coordination program for the Great Lakes region and ACORD Rwanda project partner in Rwanda, in collaboration with the Catholic Committee against Hunger and for Development ( CCFD) – Terre Solidaire and the French Development Agency (AFD).

The objective of the forum was to create a first space for exchange of experience between practitioners of agroecology, especially among the program partners, and promote the sharing of analysis around the agro-ecological approach and its issues in the Great Lakes.

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A view of the participants

The opening of the forum was made by the Director General in charge of Planning at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda. He saw the participation of partners PAIES in the Great Lakes region and the Sahel, as well as other organizations working in the field of agro-ecology in SSA. Participants in the number 46 representing 32 organizations from Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Uganda, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, and Niger.

A rich panel in knowledge and experience on agroecology

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Panelists “What realities of public-private international dynamics and climate smart agriculture in the Great Lakes region”?

Besides presentations that allowed a clarification of the theoretical concepts on agro ecology, climate change, its effects on the environment and international negotiations related thereto, the protection of the genetic heritage and the legal arsenal used in this field, etc. participants benefited from practitioners testimonies of agroecology from CSOs in all countries covered by the program PAIES but also other African experiences and Northern partner organizations.

Significant challenges

Participants identified the challenges promoting agroecology faces. These include:

  • Weight multinationals that impose an agricultural model predator environmental condition of targets and enticing names, influence the agricultural policies of the North and South, by resorting to corruption needs, accelerate the passage heritage genetic public to the private domain to great fanfare unjust legal provisions, introduced in the nature of the seed programmed degeneration is a terrible threat to the living plant;
  • The gradual withdrawal of many African states in agricultural investment to the benefit of private operators for whom the food is just a commercial good, with prioritization of agricultural trade policies at the expense of food policies concerned with social justice and human dignity ;
  • The need to sustain the expertise peasant view of the demands of conservation and improvement of the genetic heritage; etc.

Relevant Forum recommendations

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Group work

The forum has made relevant recommendations including:

  • the need for clarification of the priorities of African agriculture and concepts we use in agro-ecology;
  • improving performance indicators and promotional material change in agro-ecology that needs to feed all the people to ensure its credibility;
  • the need to technically assist farmers in the production of improved seeds instead of expect the state to do this work; the establishment of local certifications mechanisms inexpensive compared to current practices, too expensive for farmers’ organizations;
  • continuing advocacy against the hegemony of agricultural multinationals, against land grabbing and to strengthening developing countries negotiating skills;
  • better monitoring of the upcoming Rabat conference on the link between climate and agriculture;
  • organization in each country round tables for exchange on the results and recommendations of the Kigali forum, etc.

A huge yard for Inades-Formation for the common good

Torchbearer for the promotion of sustainable family farming, Inades-Formation is determined to contribute to the success of this major project to agroecology, which must articulate three key dimensions to have any chance of success: practices, research (case study) and the social movement (citizen awareness and advocacy). The man needs to produce without destroying, feed the world looking after the planet and promoting food sovereignty. Extensive program in perspective.

PAIES: a program to promote and encourage the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices practices, respectful of ecosystems and natural resources

The overall objective of PAIES is “to promote a process of social and ecological transformation of rural areas in the Sahel region and the Great Lakes region, enabling populations of these rural areas to live well and sustainably while being supportive of other territories. ” In the Great Lakes region, the program is jointly funded by the CCFD-Terre Solidaire and the AFD and is implemented in Burundi ACORD Burundi, CAPAD (Confederation of Associations of Agricultural Producers for Development) and Inades-Formation Burundi; ACORD in Rwanda Rwanda; DRC by UWAKI North Kivu, in the regional coordination Inades-Formation Burundi. In the Sahel zone, it is implemented by AOPP (Association of Professional Peasant Organizations) and NKR (Horticultural Regional Network Kayes) in Mali, Viim Baoré UBTEC and Burkina (Union of Baoré Tradition Savings Credit / Naam) and federations and Mooriben FCMN-Niya Niger. THE regional coordination is ensured by the IRPAD (Institute for the Promotion of Alternative Development) in Mali.

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A view of the participants

Installation of the steering committee for a maize chain platform in Bouaflé

The African Institute for Economic and Social Development (Inades – Formation) on Friday set up the steering committee of an innovation platform for actors in the maize sector, in the presence of the Secretary General 2 of Prefecture Of Bouaflé (Center-ouest, region of the Marahoué).

According to its director, Koné Kadidia, the platform, composed of producers, breeders, traders, transporters, processors, suppliers of inputs and consumers aims, inter alia, to exchange knowledge and information for sustainable development, promote the corn sector And strengthen the capacity of its members. It is part of the project to support agricultural productivity in West Africa (PPAO).

“This platform should help them to disseminate all the technologies and improve the governance of the sector by privileging the value chain which must lead all the actors to work to obtain added value for the good of all”, she explained .

Ms Koné said that the steering committee set up should prepare a code of conduct and an operational plan in the coming days that will be validated for the 2015 activities.

“In the short term, we want all actors in the corn sector to join the platform and wish in the long term to arrive at an improved chain where all the players are treated fairly and carry out activities in the confidence for the good of all, “She said.

The director of Inades-Formation Côte d’Ivoire deplored the fact that the sector in Cote d’Ivoire still suffers from the inorganization of its actors, whereas it represents the second largest cereal produced after rice, with A production close to 650,000 tons in 2009.

“We hope that the platform will make each group of actors aware of the importance of its organization to grow collectively,” he wished.

Founded in 1978, Inades-Formation is present in 10 countries and contributes to the promotion of family farming and the sustainable and equitable management of natural resources.

(AIP) zaar / ask

Source: AIP – Published on Saturday 10 January 2015 | AIP To read on


Source image of illustration:

Food security is based roughly on three pillars: (i) the availability of food in sufficient quantity and quality, (ii) accessibility to food resources and (iii) their proper use. It raises various issues including whether food production will relieve famine between 800 and 900 million people, but the durability is not always obvious.
Family farming goes beyond food security by relying on control of knowledge and know-how of production and food management.
To define family agriculture, we will retain two fundamental aspects that guarantee sustainability including:
– * The deep connection in the time between the earth and a family that operates it;
– * The combination of economic and environmental dimensions in the family business ensures the sustainability of food security.
To mark the official launch of the celebration of the AIAF 2014, in New York on 22 November 2013, the Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva emphasized the enormous productive potential of farmers family, saying: “by choosing to celebrate this year, we recognize that family farmers are the leading figures in the double urgency with which the world faces today: improving food security and safeguard natural resources, in line with objectives Millennium development, the debate on the post 2015 development agenda and the Zero Hunger Challenge “.
Relying on this statement, we return to the effective link between family farming and sustainable food security.
Indeed, in the literature, sustainability in simple terms refers to the conduct of activities to satisfy human needs today without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. It is generally accepted that there are three pillars of sustainability – environmental, economic and social. The consensus accepts that environmental sustainability is most critical of the three.
Family farming is central, particularly in sustainable food production because it integrates economic, social, cultural, environmental and spiritual. This potential for multiple solutions allows it to meet the dual challenge: feeding the world and heal the planet.
Economically, the agricultural sector, dominated by family farming is the backbone of African economies as evidenced by its contribution to GDP per capita, the proportion of people it employs, its contribution to local food production and the production of raw materials for industry. Indeed, 70% of the world’s food comes from family farmers. The analyzes confirm that GDP growth originating in agriculture is three times more effective in reducing poverty than GDP growth generated by other sectors. The analyzes also confirm that small family farms are more productive and sustainable land and per unit of energy consumed.
In Africa, agriculture accounts for about 32% of GDP, on average. An estimated 70% of the population depends on agriculture for full-time employment and many others depend on agriculture for part of their income. With family farming, the urban poor benefit from agricultural growth thanks to the proximity of abundant food.
On the social level, the social values of collective ownership and sharing natural goods production (seeds, land, water, forests, etc.) are well organized within families and farming communities. A sense of collective belonging imposes a moral / social obligation for the proper management of natural resources (land, seeds, water resources, forests, etc.), knowledge and culturally acceptable practices. A sense of responsibility regarding family and community power, makes farm families more resistant to unfavorable changes in market prices. The place of women in family agriculture, from field to plate, is another guarantee of food sustainability. According to UNIFEM (UN WOMEN), 60-80% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries are women.
On the environmental side, family farming is mainly ecological (with the exception of export crops such as cotton, rubber, cocoa, tea, etc.) There is a special relationship between farming communities and the natural environment based on the culture and practices that enhance the propensity towards responsible management of natural capital and productive assets. For example, sacred sites (river sites, forests, etc.), the days set aside in a week during which the work of the land is prohibited because the ancestors are supposed to be in the fields, the harvest festivals to thank the nature and the ancestors for a good harvest, seeds of blessing ceremonies, etc.
Responsible management of natural capital and productive assets is further enhanced by a sense of solidarity between generations. Families and farming communities feel morally responsible to care, improve and transmit to future generations what they inherited from their ancestors.
Moreover, farm families are the keepers of genetic diversity (seed). Family farming is a way of preserving local seeds and animal breeds adapted to the changing environment. It avoids the threats facing food diversity. Indeed, on 7000 plant species found along the history, over 150 species are marketable, 30 of them only provide 90% of calories, only four (rice, potato, wheat and maize) bring more half the calories in the world.
Contribution of Inades-Formation Workshop on Family Agriculture organized by the Swiss Centre for Scientific Research in Côte d’Ivoire (CSRS), Thursday, April 24, 2014.