Southern Africa agrofuels info network
- To provide capacity building, and to facilitate networking between national groups from countries in the SADC region.
- Bring representatives of community based organisations and environmentalists from South Africa, Swaziland, Malawi, Mauritius, Mocambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
|Isaac Nkhungulu||ZM||+260 – 97 firstname.lastname@example.org||NRDC/ZEGA Training Trust|
|Rehana Dada||SA - GPemail@example.com||Timberwatch|
|Reinford Mwangonde||MWfirstname.lastname@example.org||CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE (CFJ)|
|Anabela Lemos||MZ||+258 email@example.com||JA! Justiça Ambiental|
|Bobby Peek||SA - KZNfirstname.lastname@example.org||groundWork|
|Catherine Ross||SA - KZNemail@example.com||Timberwatch|
|Haidee Swanby||SA - WCfirstname.lastname@example.org||African Centre for Biosafety|
|Harald Witt||SA - KZNemail@example.com||UKZN/ ACB|
|Mariam Mayet||SA - GP||083-2694309||Mariammayet@mweb.co.za||African Centre for Biosafety|
|Mark Wells||SA - ECfirstname.lastname@example.org||TWIG|
|Natacha Terrot||SW||+268 404 email@example.com||Yonge Nawe|
|Philip Owen||SA - MPfirstname.lastname@example.org||GeaSphere|
|Saruchera Munyaradzi||SA/ZWemail@example.com||Sustainability Institute|
|Sicelo Simelane||SW||+268 404 firstname.lastname@example.org||Yonge Nawe|
|Tristen Taylor||SA - GPemail@example.com||EarthLife Africa - Johannesburg|
|Vanessa Black||SA - KZNfirstname.lastname@example.org||EarthLife Africa - eThekwini|
|Wally Menne||SA - KZN||+27 email@example.com||Timberwatch|
Summary of participant feedback and comments
LAND GRABS are taking place through forced displacement of communities, contract farming, land leasing and out-grower agreements.
This is a strategy to empty the countryside of Africans to gain productive land for the north.
Through this communities lose food security and access to food diversity and wild foods, diverse livelihood options, livestock grazing land, medicines, and building materials.
In losing land many communities are also divested of a culture that is intimately linked to the natural landscape, animal husbandry, as well as indigenous and traditional seed and agricultural systems.
TACTICS USED BY CORPORATES TO INFILTRATE RURAL COMMUNITIES include:
· Dangling the prospect of quick cash in front of impoverished communities without providing any audit of the value of their land and the diverse resources derived from it.
· Multinational partnerships to fund and train government agricultural extension workers who then provide a ‘neutral’ front to sell the companies’ products.
· Subsidisation or free gifts of start-up agribusiness inputs and seeds, which destroy indigenous seed and agricultural systems.
AGRICULTURAL LAND CONVERTED FROM FOOD TO AGROFUEL
Although agrofuel proponents are claiming that these are crops that are being grown on marginal land, in most cases prime agricultural land is being converted from food to agrofuel crops, resulting in food shortages and food price increases.
Agrofuels are the new CASH CROP. This makes countries dependent on imports for essential commodities like food. When there are fluctuations in the commodity or agrofuels markets, developing world farmers will bear the brunt of this, not being able to afford imports while their land is no longer productive.
Most agrofuel crops are water intensive resulting in surface water being diverted or drying up, excluding communities from traditional free water resources. In some instances communities are being prevented from accessing water reserves by force, when these are commandeered by agrofuels companies for crop production.
Costly infrastructure is being built – such as new dams and irrigation schemes – to service agrofuel developments, but the costs are often born by the citizens.
· Soil destruction and erosion.
· Impacts of chemical agriculture.
· Loss of biodiversity and invasion of alien species when the land is disturbed.
Monocultures destroy diverse activities based on a diversity of natural resources and production systems in rural areas. This in turn stagnates rural economies causing small towns to die and forcing people to look for other means of income in big cities.
We reject agrofuels, which are produced through large-scale or contract farming monocultures based on energy and chemical intensive industrial agriculture systems.
· Food First! Food is our most important form of energy.
· We want food sovereignty that puts farmers and consumers at the heart of the food system.
· We are against the corporate ownership of biofuels [and agrofuels]
· We want a localised economy, which includes using resources at a local level in the most efficient way possible and local production for local consumption. We recognise this may include some exchange at regional level to account for differing climates and land productivity.
· We reject the energy intensive growth model.
· We reject the industrial agricultural production model and commit to demystify and counter it.
· We reject the certification of agrofuels as being ‘sustainable’, which seeks to legitimise an unsustainable production system.
· We recognise that the production of biodiesel and ethanol also create emissions that cause climate change in their production, distribution and use as well as in the conversion of virgin land to monoculture production, and thus agrofuels are not environmental or climate mitigation solutions.
· We reject current transport and planning systems cantered on the use of private motor vehicles.
· We call for genuine strategies to address climate change including the rejection of carbon trading; the promotion of renewable energies based on solar, wind, wave and tide technologies; and most importantly a drastic reduction in consumption especially of fossil fuels by the wealthy elite.
· We support the equitable distribution of energy and natural resources, and for there to be a direct link between producers and users of energy.
· We support Zero Waste production systems that optimise the use of energy and nutrients at the most local level possible through closed loop production systems.
· We call for the full participation of communities in decisions that affect them, based on the right to be informed including full cost and benefit analysis of potential agrofuels projects.
· We call on our governments to be transparent in decision-making and to make informed decisions based on cost and benefit analysis over the full production cycle of potential projects and with the informed participation of affected communities.
For southern Africa agrofuels data click here: Agrofuels