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Promoting agroecology and food sovereignty

  • Amount funded: £59,100
  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Locations: South Africa
  • Grant stream: Open grants call

Emissions from the industrialised food system in South Africa are exacerbating the effects of climate change. Transformation of the industrialised food system towards agroecology is urgently needed.

Project partners
Biowatch South Africa
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How we are helping

This project aims to improve awareness of agroecology and food sovereignty as an alternative to the industrialised food system and advocating for policies and initiatives that promote agroecology in South Africa.

About the project

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, emissions must be reduced. The current highly industrialised global food system is responsible for one-third (31–34%) of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. A shift towards agroecology and food sovereignty is crucial to reduce emissions and ensure everyone’s right to nutritious food.

The project will promote increased involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs) and government in policy-making related to agroecology and food sovereignty as sustainable alternatives. By addressing the major contributor to climate change, it strives to enhance food security through agroecology in South Africa.

This will be achieved by:

  • Supporting the work of two CSO platforms on agroecology, one operating in KwaZulu-Natal and the other at the national level; strengthening their capacity to develop and implement joint advocacy strategies
  • Collaborating with farmer organisations and supporting 50 CSOs to monitor and participate in the development of policy and legislative initiatives that contribute to a more sustainable food system, including by providing input into government consultation processes and written submissions
  • Engaging in dialogue with government officials at local, provincial and national level on the importance of agroecology to a sustainable future
  • Hosting a series of seminars on food system issues, bringing together civil society, government, the media, academics and activists
  • Developing and producing communication materials in isiZulu and English on agroecology, including videos and infographics, highlighting key issues in the industrialised food system and the benefits of agroecology.

As a result of the project, it is hoped that there will be improved awareness of the benefits of agroecology and food sovereignty as an alternative to the industrialised food system at local, provincial, and national spaces; and enhanced dialogue with policy officials to support a stronger movement towards agroecology.

Project Partners
Biowatch South Africa

Biowatch South Africa is an environmental justice NGO, established in 1999. It works with smallholder farmers, other civil society organisations and government to ensure that people have control over their food, agricultural processes and resources, and other natural resources, within a biodiverse, agroecological and sustainable system. Regionally and internationally, society has faced multiple food, energy and climate change crises. Within this context, and with a clear commitment to securing, developing and protecting smallholder farmers’ rights, Biowatch South Africa challenges industrial agriculture and demonstrates agroecology as a means of ensuring biodiversity while attaining food and seed sovereignty and social justice.

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