Lobbying success “on the ground” Lawrence Mkhaliphi Biowatch Agro-Ecology Manager
Who is Biowatch South Africa? Founded in 1997 as an environmental and social justice NGO, we work with small-holder farmers, other civil society organisations and government to ensure that people have control over their food, agricultural practices and land within a bio-diverse, agro-ecological and sustainable system.Key focus areas: Biodiversity | Food Sovereignty | Biosafety | Social JusticeTwo-fold approach:• Advocacy, research and networking• Work on the ground with small-holder farmers
• Work “on the ground” with small-holder farmers
NO to GMOsNO to Industrial Agriculture YES to Seed and Food Sovereignty YES to Farmers’ Rights YES to Agro-Ecology
Small-holder farmers aremarginalised:• minimal government support• no access to fencing• no access to piped water
1. Work with small-holder farmers – training and support.
2. Supply fencing to secure food gardens – community erects fences. Need access to water.
3. Seed ritual event– showcase to local municipality, traditional leaders.
Lessons learnt• Let local government see and hear what communities need.• Identify and support community “champions”.• Show what can be done – producing much with little.• Show government what they should be doing. Lobbying is as much about “showing” as it is about “telling”!
Empowering and partnering with small-holder farmers for REAL support “on the ground”.