Via Campesina published a number of interesting papers on agroecology and climate justice in Southern and Eastern Africa. They include country reports from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania, and a general overview booklet, and contain interesting perspectives from farmers on the ground and examples on how they are already dealing with climate change.
According to the studies, these countries have formulated policies across key sectors to address climate change, but such policies are largely inadequate, disconnected and at times contradictory. For example, the governments seem to have embraced Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) based “green revolution package”- a main source of greenhouse gas emissions – as a solution to climate change. In the case of Zimbabwe, the government is supporting the use of synthetic fertilizers and hybrid seeds, especially maize. In Mozambique land grabbing and privatization of land for export crop production using green revolution techniques has dispossessed thousands of peasants, leaving them, particularly the women and youth, more vulnerable to climate change. Youth migration to cities has increased as they can no longer sustain themselves.
However, not all smallholder farmers are accepting the governments’ solution to climate change. In Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania, the farmers are experimenting and sharing knowledge on a lot of local innovations working towards achieving food sovereignty. They are building their farming system reliance through exchanging seeds diversifying their crops, innovating new ways of water conservation (such the water infiltration pits dug along fields by ZIMSOFF farmers), organizing learning visits (in Tanzania and Uganda farmers are identifying champion agroecology farmers to share their experiences with other farmers using community radios, learning visits, etc). All this shows that farmers are not passive but actively seeking ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Instead of seeking external solutions, their governments should work with and consult farmers to build lasting and relevant policies and solutions to climate change.
Download (1) the Primer in english, french, shona, swahili and portuguese (2) Zimbabwe in english, french, shona (3) Mozambique in english and Portuguese (4) Tanzania in in english, french and Swahili and (5) Uganda in english and french