FSG observes International Day of Peasants’ Struggle

Accra, Food Sovereignty Ghana stands (FSG), a food advocacy organisation, says it stands in solidarity with all progressive people around the world to salute and celebrate the International Day of Peasants' struggle.

A statement issued by Edwin Kweku Andoh Bafour, Communications Directorate, FSG in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said: "We fully recognise this distinguished group of humanity who provide the majority of food we consume on the planet. For millennia mankind has depended on peasant farmers to provide the daily nutritional needs of our communities and they continue to remain a most significant pillar in the organisational structure of any nation."

The statement said the FSG was however concerned that the rights of the peasant had never been under more pressure for a very long time.

It said there were many factors affecting peasant welfare in a negative manner and FSG was calling upon the stakeholders of the world's food production systems to incorporate more sustainable models of agriculture to ensure a balanced approach.

"It is only this dynamic shift of thought which will provide the much needed relief that millions of peasants desperately require. It is almost beyond the deadline for governments to develop the political will and support their citizens and the environment.

"This celebration is observed at a time when there are more and more calls from across the board to more agroecological farm practices to ensure the sustainability of the environment.

"As the most important stakeholders in the food production value chain, peasant farmers deserve to be respected and have their rights protected to ensure they continue to play the invaluable role that they have played for millennia."

The FSG warned the Government and Parliament to be aware of the interests behind the massive lobbying activities of the transnational corporations in support of the Plant Breeders' Bill (PBB), and be reminded that their primary duty was to the welfare of Ghanaians.

"A properly written report, detailing the various objections to the PBB in the petitions, and the reasons why our MPs think they must not be taken into consideration, if any, must be made known to all Ghanaians. Transparency is the key and on this day when we recognise the daily struggles and celebrate their triumphs over what could be avoidable obstacles we feel that Ghana owes it to our peasant farmers to ensure their welfare.

"In so doing we automatically safeguard our future food supply as well as protect the environment and livelihood of almost 60 per cent of our population."

It called Government to pay great attention to the sustainability factor in implementing its proposed "Planting for food for jobs" programme.

It said any programme to achieve the sort of targets identified would require much attention to detail in ensuring that factors such as soil fertility, climate change, equitable access to land, information and inclusion in policy making are addressed.

The statement said in light of the upcoming proposed launch of the national launch of the programme at Goaso, capital of the Asunafo Municipality in the Brong-Ahafo Region on April 19, it called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo to reconsider the negative impact on the Ghanaian environment and her citizens that the incorporation of chemicals such as the controversial and harmful Monsanto manufactured "Roundup" which has been linked to cancer by much independent research would pose.

It said: "The United Nations has diplomatically stated that 'Glyphosate is possibly carcinogenic to humans.'"

The FSG said it is very disturbed about the likelihood that such a dangerous chemical would play a key role in the Government's preferred path to achieve food security.

"It is absolutely unsustainable to think that 250,000 farmers will be encouraged to utilize on their crops and land a chemical that has earned a controversial status all over the world where its negative effects are now well documented. In support of our position we share the recent court decision in California to become the first US state to declare Glyphosate causes cancer http://www.ecowatch.com/california-roundup-cancer-warning-2"

The FSG said it joined independent experts all over the world "as we point to agroecology as the way forward. Peasant farmers are scientists with indigenous knowledge who understand their land, the flora and fauna that live in their surroundings and we must harness this ancient wisdom that maintained the sustainability of ecosystems for millennia".

Source: Ghana News Agency

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