ESAFF Signs the Dakar Appeal against the land grab

 

 

03/03/2011

 

ESAFF Signs the Dakar Appeal against the land grab.

The Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) has strongly endorsed the Dakar Apral against land grab. The appeal came out as one of the major issues that arose out of the convergance in Dakar during the World Social Forum (WSF) 2011. If you want to sign this petition visit: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/dakar/.

The WSF took place in February 2011  in which ESAFF was represented by farmer leaders from Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, and Lesotho.

In one of the side event that was jointly organised with IBON and the Peoples Solidarity on Food Security (PSFS) at the WSF, The General Secretary of ESAFF says that while blaming the Multinationals on land grabbing in Africa, still we have to hold responsible our own African governments and demand they stop the whole sale of African lands. Mr. Moses Shaha who is a farmer from Kilifi says that in Kenya is reported that 100,000 Ha has been leased to the Qatari government in return to finance the building of a port in northern Kenya while 250,000 Ha to the Libyan government in return to finance the building two oil refineries and two inland container deports, 270,000 Ha to La’Farge of France and the Canadian government to extract gypsum for cement and titanium respectively for industrial raw material in the coastal region of Kenya. In Tanzania, it is resported that the government agreed with Korea to ‘develop’ 400 squire miles. Media reports indicate that Sudan, Ethiopia, Madagascar and Mozambique are among the key recipients of FDI funds in return for land in their respective countries. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mRxU2TaIT1E

ESAFF’s response to this dangerous trend

With the help of the wider CSOs in Eastern and Southern Africa, resources were mobilized to carry an awareness programmes to dissuade farmers of small holdings, pastoralists and community land ‘caretakers’ to pitch resistance from accepting to be uprooted from their ancestral lands where they have lived for generations without being given an alternative land to settle on. In East Africa, ESAFF is working with PELUM Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda as well as MVIWATA and HAKIARHI to raise awareness and advocte on the rights of marginalised men and women.

At the current rate of giving away land to foreigners and foreign states, Africa is exposing her underside and challenging her claim to be sovereign. 

It does not make sense when Africa’s populations go hungry and the most fertile agricultural land is being given away to other nations to grow food to feed their citizens. It does not make sense when we have to buy the same food that was grown in our very own land while farmers are made land less. It yet does not make sense when the displaced farmers have to pay to the new land owners in order to cultivate the same land that belonged to them.

Besides having the political independence of the African continent what direction do our African leaders/governments seem to send us to?. When African leaders talk of sovereignty in all it’s context what do we, rather they/ ‘really’ mean?

ESAFF is highly disturbed by this trend of events that distorts the lives of her members and has currently lobbied for a stop to this trend through awareness campaigns and open resistance besides the lobbying of the ‘land tenure’ policy programmes (legal land allocation titles) to be quickly effected. Full involvement of the farmer leaders to confront this issue head-on is being spearheaded by the farmers’ fora themselves in the countries they operate from.

Other issues are the lobbying of our governments to honour their 2003 Maputo declaration on 10% agriculture budget increase pledge.

 








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