Elizabeth Mpofu of Zimbabwe is General Coordinator of the international peasant movement La Via Campesina, a coalition of 164 organizations in 73 countries around the world, representing about 200 million peasant, landless, indigenous, and other farmers. She is also Chairperson of Zimbabwe Organic Smallholder Farmers Forum, and herself a farmer.
Alternatives to the ecological crisis, the food crises and the climate crisis
How can we promote alternatives to the ecological, food and climate crises that we are experiencing today. These crises have been caused by decades of the Green Revolution or Industrial forms of agriculture promoting conventional forms of agriculture emphasising increased usage of hybrid seeds, synthetic fertilizers, agro chemicals and currently GMOs by capitalist multinational corporations and agro dealers. Our ecology and food systems have been destroyed – land, deforestation, freezing of our rivers and lakes, soil system and our forests including our indigenous or traditional seed and knowledge seed systems. Climate change crisis has led to a fall in productivity, loss in livestock and peoples’ livelihoods especially women, small scale and peasant, affecting crop, indigenous, pastoralists, fisher folks and mountain farmers. Other questions that we again need also to ask are how we can convince our policy makers to promote alternatives when the policy makers collude with funders of the Green Revolution for funding. These alternatives are premised on promoting sustainable agricultural practices such as agro ecology, food sovereignty and increased usage of indigenous seeds. How can we convince the urban consumers and younger generations to consume traditional foods? How do we promote and campaign for agro ecology that can reach out to our policy makers and other farmers?