It is true that African and other developing nations will be the hardest hit by climate change. The solution lies not in industrial techniques but in wholistic solutions. Wholistic, appropriate techniques and a paradigm shift in how we view growth and progress, are necessary for truly addressing the root causes of disparity, climate change and agriculture.
Africa holds a rich history of agriculture including bioregionally appropriate farming methods, seed saving and cultivation and other traditional practices that are adapted to their culture and geography. However, genetic engineering promoted by large-scale agribusiness is a threat to the food sovereignty of developing nations. Luckily, there are ample available and active solutions.
There are many solutions to drought which exist through innovative practices such as agroecology (Links to an external site.) which integrates the culture of a region with appropriate solutions that lead to sustainability. Simple solutions such as building soil health through increasing organic matter and mulching has been proved to be more effective than gmo crops and expensive technology. (ACB (Links to an external site.))
An excellent organization called African Center for Biodiversity (Links to an external site.)has been working diligently on this topic of African food justice and warns that the WEMA program is a false solution. They have recently filed a suit against WEMA as many countries in African have bans on the introduction of genetic engineering
A few poignant quotes that I found on the topic are stated below:
Abdallah Mkindi of the Tanzania Biodiversity Alliance (TABIO) “The real solution to prepare for climate change is to support smallholder producers to sustain and increase agricultural diversity and resilience, do away with harmful chemicals and place smallholders at the centre of control over their resources and decision-making,” (ACB (Links to an external site.)).
Agostinho Bento, a member of La Via Campesina Africa: “the solution to hunger and climate change is food and seed sovereignty, but WEMA is rolling out the red carpet for agribusiness, which profits from creating farmer dependency on their risky products. We reject WEMA and Monsanto’s bogus drought tolerant GM maize and demand food sovereignty in our countries” (ACB (Links to an external site.)).
Packet of information on the topic: http://acbio.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/WEMA_report_may2015.pdf (Links to an external site.)
- Agroecology Home. Agroecology Home. n.d. Web. 30 Aug. 2016.
- Mayet, Mariam. “African Civil Society Slams Monsanto Junk GM Maize Deal”ACBio. N.p., 21 June 2015. Web. 30 Aug. 2016.
- Mayet, Mariam. “Appeal Against Monsanto’s Bogus GM Drought Tolerant Maize Highlights Need for Urgent Agriculture Transition.” African Center for Biodiversity. N.p., 17 Dec. 2015. Web. 30 Aug. 2016.