Women Farmers Feed the World

The Al­liance for a Green Rev­o­lu­tion in Africa (AGRA) is a Gates Foun­da­tion-funded ini­tia­tive based in Nairobi and spear­headed by Kofi Annan, for­mer sec­re­tary gen­eral of the U.N. It’s a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar pro­ject that seeks to in­crease food pro­duc­tion in Africa by im­ple­ment­ing vig­or­ous West­ern-style agri­cul­tural tech­niques, promis­ing high-yield re­sults for food-in­se­cure pop­u­la­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to the Gates Foun­da­tion and other sup­port­ers, it’s an African-led en­deavor, mod­eled on the pre­vi­ous Green Rev­o­lu­tions of Latin Amer­ica and the In­dian sub-con­ti­nent but placed in the hands of Africans. It sounds like a good idea.

But a grow­ing move­ment of local farm­ers—largely led by women—argue that the surest path to food se­cu­rity is se­cur­ing food sov­er­eignty. It’s a con­cept that was put for­ward in the early 90’s by Via Campesina, an in­ter­na­tional al­liance of peas­ant, in­dige­nous, and women’s or­ga­ni­za­tions that ad­vo­cates for com­mu­ni­ties’ con­trol over how food is pro­duced, and who gets to eat it.
Women Farmers