The fierce urgency of now …
At the time of joining SKI, partners’ described the fragile nature of food and nutritional security for the smallholder farmers they worked with:
Seed, food and nutritional security were inadequate for households in the communities where partners worked. Many farmers had lost confidence in using traditional farming methods and to speak openly about traditional seed as they were accused of being backward. Too many households had a long hunger season and low dietary diversity. Women often did not have sufficient say over decisions on the use of household farming resources.
Hybrid seed, GMOs (in South Africa), pesticides and chemical fertilizers were commonly used and actively promoted by agricultural extension staff.
Policies are becoming draconian, and the nexus of agrochemical companies and international agreements are limited options for the future. Starkly illustrating this is the recent move in the region to criminalise the exchange of seeds between farmers.
As activists & advocates …
As activists and advocates of seed and food and nutrition security, SKI will continue to emphasise the importance of access to healthy and culturally appropriate food, call for the producers of food, their knowledge, skills and contribution to be valued, and promote diverse and inclusive food production systems which are farmer led and work in harmony with nature.