Led Initiatives in East Africa by Enhancing Agroecological Productions and Market Access in Response to the Global Crisis
Previous Agroecology Fund projects have strengthened the agroecological knowledge of farmers through Food Academies, and applied these principles in practice through Food Gardens. Now a new collaborative effort is primed to take center stage, which focuses on enhancing market opportunities, fortifying food value chains and promoting the significance of cultural, agroecological and healthy food choices.
This innovative project builds on the foundations of extant Slow Food structures such as Presidia, Earth Markets and the Cooks Alliance, which serve as key points of reference because of their agroecological focus. It prioritizes flexibility, allowing for adaptations that align with the unique needs of each farming community, and places the improvement of livelihoods at its core. This collaboration empowers farmers to promote their agroecological products in local markets and educates consumers about the myriad benefits they bring. Its reach extends further through local and global advocacy efforts, driving sustainable change for the long term.
The world’s rich agricultural biodiversity is at risk, and with it the capacity of food systems to provide food security and dignified livelihoods. Despite an increasing global recognition of the importance of agroecology, it has received insufficient attention from policymakers and researchers, who have instead focused on expanding the yields of a few select crops with the use of improved seeds, hybrids and GMOs, as well as large quantities of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
In East Africa, the effects of climate change are affecting local communities with alternating periods of drought and localized flooding. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated a range of long-standing challenges such as the dependence of small-scale farmers on the purchase of seeds and fertilizers, limited access to markets and scarce availability of local, healthy and nutritious food at affordable prices.
The main objectives of this collaborative venture are to:
- Enhance market opportunities for farmers through Earth Markets and Cooks Alliance initiatives.
- Strengthen food value chains with a focus on Presidia to safeguard traditional food products and practices.
- Raise awareness among consumers about the importance of choosing cultural, agroecological, and healthy foods.
The success of this endeavor hinges on a robust partnership between the following organizations:
Slow Food Uganda
Slow Food Convivia Association of Kenya
Women Development for Science and Technology (WODSTA)
Programme Intégré pour le Développement du Peuple Pygmée (PIDP)
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