Published in February 2024, African Perspectives on Agroecology: Why farmer-led seed and knowledge systems matter is now freely available online.
Edited by scholar-activist Rachel Wynberg, DST/NRF Research Chair on Social and Environmental Dimensions of the Bio-Economy at the University of Cape Town, and fellow Seed and Knowledge Initiative (SKI) founding partner, the book includes the voices of 33 farmers, activists, scientists, scholars and policymakers.
Together, the authors (including Vanessa Black, Biowatch’s Advocacy and Research Co-ordinator) articulate a shared and dynamic vision of a world where agriculture is productive, diverse, and sustainable; where different ways of seeing and knowing are respected; and where seed and food systems are in the hands of farmers and local communities.
“Seed embodies life, power, and culture. From Africa’s deserts and drylands to its mighty river systems and tropical forests, from those growing a multiplicity of grains, legumes, and vegetables, to others struggling to produce enough to feed their families, seed provides the mainstay for the continent’s 500 million small-scale farmers and is at the heart of rich and varied cultures,” writes Wynberg.
“But seed is under siege. With the world’s food and agricultural systems increasingly industrialised, homogenised, and privatised, seed epitomises the struggles involved is symbolic of the deep injustices that have emerged. This book aims not only to provide critical perspectives about the onslaught on seed and knowledge in sub-Saharan Africa, but also to demonstrate the viability and necessity of agroecological systems that are diverse, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable.”
In the Foreword, Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, writes: “The growing consensus is that communities all over the world should shift to agroecological practices in order to mitigate and adapt to climate change, while at the same time reversing biodiversity loss. Agroecology also deepens people’s relationship with the land and each other. This book is unique in that it focuses on the role of seeds in relation to agroecology. It brings in a rich array of experiences and knowledge, pointing to practical and theoretical ways forward.”
African Perspectives on Agroecology: Why farmer-led seed and knowledge systems matter is available free of charge as an ebook or downloadable PDF. Go to https://practicalactionpublishing.com/book/2698/african-perspectives-on-agroecology