Farmers have worked the rugged land in Western Africa for generations for food and livelihood. All that changed when the government planted a virtual “For Lease” sign on the land. China and other buyers grabbed it up, quickly draining the land of nutrients with vast fields of monocrops for export.
This is the plight of many farmers throughout West Africa. Massive land grabs – combined with the influx of genetically modified seeds under the banner of the “Green Revolution,” and the promotion of laws that criminalize seed-saving and open markets to free trade – come with empty promises of increased agricultural productivity and the end of hunger.
This so-called “Green Revolution” is responsible for poisoning precious farmland with toxic chemicals while profiting agro-industrial giants at the expense of the families and communities who depend on – and care for – the land.
Many threatened small farmers are joining a growing movement-building effort of peasant farmers who are part of We Are the Solution, a network of women-led family farmer organizations in five countries of West Africa, working to promote agroecology and food sovereignty as an alternative to the corporate takeover of agriculture in the region.
The Fund to Advance Resource Rights in West Africa supports grassroots organizations and social movements in West Africa that advance food sovereignty, climate justice and the human rights to land and water as solutions to hunger, poverty, and ecological disruption. It prioritizes support for social movements and community-based efforts that are led by women, small-scale farmers, Indigenous Peoples, and youth as those most impacted by these forms of injustice, and therefore the best experts in creating lasting solutions.
Grassroots International provides support to the following efforts in West Africa: