YVE HOLDS CARAVAN MEETING 2018

As a member of the Global Convergence on Land, seed and water, YVE Ghana was part of the organizing committee for the 2018 Caravan. Which began from Takoradi through to Accra and ended in Ho for the Ghana stop overs.  The Caravan originally began from Guinea to Côte d’ivoire then Ghana through to Togo and ended in Benin. The main objective of the Caravan is to contribute to social transformation in

West Africa by improving of policies and legislative texts being ratified, elaborated or revised on land, water, peasant seeds, pastoralism, fishing and EPAs in the ECOWAS area to defend our rights in the context of Food Sovereignty by Promoting Peasant Agro-ecology based on human rights and the right to food by Awareness creation, Strengthen synergy, Improve on involvement of women and young people, Support human rights defenders through mobilizing West African social movements and organizations in order to build a strong movement based on peasant agro-ecology and food sovereignty that will affirm the rights of communities and promote family farming;

Taking action for peace, social and environmental justice and equity, gender equality, public health, and the struggle against climate change;

Engaging national political and administrative authorities, as well as sub-regional institutions (ECOWAS and WAEMU), on their obligations regarding the realization of human rights, and calling upon them to take up our demands and proposals in relation to:

The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests adopted by the United Nations Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

The African Union policy framework and guidelines on land policy in Africa and pastoral charters, articles 5, 6, and 9 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), favoring the rights of peasants to their seeds, as well as their rights to reject GMOs and revise biotechnology laws promoted by WAEMU and ECOWAS;  the human right to food and nutrition; the Declaration of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. Support all activists and communities that are defending human rights linked to land, water, and seeds, and denounce their criminalization.

Testimonies from a Land Grabbed victim community – Brewenease in the Nkwanta North District, Mr. Wisdom Koffi Adjowlo, Director of YVE Ghana introduced the delegates from Brewenease community to attest the impact of land grabbing by Volta Red Company to the community.

These women testified that, their lives and that of their families were gravely affected to the extent that:

  1. They could not have access to farmland for farming activities to feed their families.
  2. Harmful chemicals and fertilizers use by the culprits have destroyed the community’s water bodies, so they have to join long queues to get portable water for household use.
  3. They could only plant what the exploits asked them to plant and not what they wished to plant on their lands.
  4. Women who use to farm to make earns meet could not get this opportunity anymore which makes living unbearable.

Hon. George Sarku-Darkey, a former Assemblyman of the area, raised a concern that about 3,750 hectares of lands has been grabbed in his electoral area, where monoculture of palm is being practiced. All produce from the farm are exported and nothing is left for the local communities consumption. All the developmental projects that were promised to them have not been fulfilled till date.

Nana Akua Nima, Queen-mother from the Brewenease community acknowledged that Palm Oil made from Palm fruits of chemically-induced fertilizer farms, popularly known as “AGRIC” among the locals, gave more yields after production and processing and also higher profit margins after sales. However, the quality, taste, aroma and shelve life of the palm oil is nothing to write home about; while the Palm oil made from Palm fruits from the peasant farmers farm, popularly known as “LOCAL” among the locals, has a shelve life for up to two (2) years, has a better taste, stronger aroma and is of a higher nutritional quality. Nana therefore, urged all delegates present, especially, farmers to propagate the various practices of agro-ecology and the use of local seed rather than the scientifically Modified Seeds. This is because these Scientifically Modified Seed are destroying our land and water. She also made an appeal to all chiefs, governments, policy makers and all stake holders in Agriculture to make policies that would protect farmers, especially women, the land, water, natural resources and seed in the community.

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