On April 17th, GROW campaign* in West Africa is joining the Via Campesina mobilisation** and global movement to support peasant struggles worldwide. For GROW, the priority is and remains the defence of family farmers, agriculture and livestock in the region, and the promotion of the fruits of their labour by making the slogan “produce local, eat local” a fact as regards the agricultural transformation in the region. In West Africa, there are many challenges which the farming world has to face to make the region strong and resilient in terms of agriculture and food, and this means, transforming family farming. Faster population growth compared to the increase in production, the need to cope with the climate change, boosting the regional trade, access to public financing and credit, the share of national and regional budgets dedicated to agriculture, complementarity or partnership with the private sector, land grabbing… In 2016, for GROW, the promotion of family farming in the region goes through three major struggles; the time has come for ECOWAS, its Member States and all stakeholders to bring all their weight more and better to put their money where their mouth is.
The first struggle is about defining and implementing the second generation of national/regional agriculture and food security investment plans (NAIP / RAIP) in favour of the family farming, with a better consideration of the livestock sector. This year the countries in the region and the region itself will have to review their investment plans to get plans that respect the Malabo commitments, “the accelerated growth and transformation of African agriculture for a shared prosperity and the improvement of livelihoods “as well as those of the ” Zero Hunger” initiative, while applying the results of the 2015 review of ECOWAP10. ” We, rural women, ask for access to credit which can allow us to develop our agricultural or pastoralist activity and answer to our family and community food needs. We thus ask decision makers, financing institutions and other actors to provide us with tools and services which would be adequate to us, women! “, says Naa Oseabea, farming woman from Ghana. Yes, let’s work together to invest more and better in family farming!