PARTICIPATORY Ecology Land Use Management say governments should aim to implement policies that will help farmers develop while noting that small scale farmers have the potential to bring about development in rural areas. PARTICIPATORY Ecology Land Use Management (PELUM) has called on governments in developing countries to critically look into the plight of small scale farmers.
Speaking at the just ended symposium for small scale farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa, PELUM Association chairperson Charles Nyakora Onyango said governments should aim to implement policies that will help farmers develop.
He said small scale farmers have the potential to bring about development in rural areas.
“We call upon government to look into developing small scale farmers because farmers are the cornerstone of any economy and must become the cornerstone of sustainable rural development,” Mr. Onyango said. “Small scale farmers are an integral part of the global and harmonized development process of each nation.”
Mr. Onyango said if farmers are fully developed, there would be no need of using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in order to achieve food security in the country.
He also noted that GMOs have a negative impact on the development of the small scale farmers in the region.
“As PELUM we continue to say no to the use of GMOs in order to safe guard the interest of the farmers in terms of seed security and sustainability,’’ Mr. Onyango said. “However, we strongly believe that the use of our own indigenous seed and management of production system ecology will contribute immensely towards improving food security in Africa.”
Meanwhile, Rural Small Scale Farmer’s chairperson Dorcas Shonga appealed to government to prevent land allocations meant for agriculture to foreigners in the name of investment.
She said doing this lowers farmers’ capacity in growing more agricultural produce as well as their capacity to make more money.
PELUM started with a membership of 25 organisation to date the member has grown to 258 Civil Society Organizations working on sustainable rural development in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. These countries include Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Ethiopia