Food Sovereignty in the Era of Land Grabbing: An African Perspective

  •  Kannan Ambalam    


Food is a basic human right. One of the humanity’s significant achievements has been to produce adequate food for the largest growing population. However, the co-existence of chronic hunger and malnutrition with presence of adequate capacities to address it is one of the gravest paradoxes of our time. In one-third of African countries the average daily calorie intake remains below the recommended level of 2100 kcal. The need and importance for greater food sovereignty has emerged out of broader concerns over the negative impact of world’s food system on food security and environmental sustainability. Adoption of the food sovereignty principles are essential to empower local communities to have greater control over their productive resources, use and sustain ecologically friendly means of production, and access local markets as well as nutritious and culturally accepted food. The majority of African farmers are smallholders. However, the existing trend of land grabbing in Africa seriously affects food sovereignty in an unprecedented level. Based on the secondary sources, this paper explores different dimensions of the complex relationship between food sovereignty and land grabbing in African countries. It also analyses the various aspects on how the ongoing process of land grabbing in Africa affects food sovereignty which in turn leads to food insecurity of millions. The introduction of intensive agricultural production, due to land grabbing often based on a transformation of complex farming systems for commercial purpose can seriously threaten biodiversity. There is a need to balance the local circumstance while favouring large scale agricultural projects.

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