Organized smallholder farmers’ grassroots movement for agro-ecological practices and climate justice.
Towards commemoration of World Environmental Day 2020 #WED2020 Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) together with La Via Campesina Eastern and Southern Africa among other activities has organized a five (5) days training on agro-ecology and climate justice to 24 smallholder farmers from Mtwara, Tanga and Morogoro regions.
The training highlights the benefits of family-based diversified agro ecological farming, in terms of feeding the world with healthy, local food, good stewardship of the rural environment, the preservation of cultural heritages and the peasant or family farm way of life, and resilience to climate change.
The training is also putting a critique of agribusiness and industrial agriculture for producing unhealthy food and generating inequality, greenhouse gases, hunger, environmental devastation, GMO contamination, pesticide poisoning, the destruction and loss of rural cultures and livelihoods.
Other activities planned for World Environmental Day 2020 #WED2020 on 5th June 2020, includes planting trees and a dialogue on the smallholder farmers’ approach to mitigate climate change crisis. Dialogues and planting trees will also be effected by smallholder farmers’ members of MVIWATA at grassroots in regions and districts.
On 6th June 2020, participants of the training will have a farmers’ exchange visit to smallholder farmers’ producer groups in Kinole ward, Morogoro rural district whereby farmer-promoters who have developed agro-ecological solutions to problems that are common among many farmers and who use popular education methodology will share them with their fellow farmers, using their own group’s demonstration farms as their classrooms.
Agro-ecology is based on applying principles that depend on local realities of local knowledge and ingenuity. Smallholder farmers must necessarily take a front seat to agro-ecological solutions to curb climate crisis, and farmers cannot blindly follow pesticide and fertilizer recommendations prescribed on a recipe basis by extension agents or salesmen.
MVIWATA has been organizing grassroots agro-ecological and climate justice movements with the idea of using agro-ecological practices based totally on resources found on the farm, like mulching, organic amendments, and diversification, so as to break the stranglehold of debt on farming households by purchasing zero off-farm inputs.
MVIWATA seeks to build awareness to smallholder food producers for the defence of peasant and indigenous material territories against corporate land grabbing and change public policies toward food sovereignty, based on agrarian reform, local markets, and ecological farming which are climate resilience.