Defending Rights Promoting Justice
The main purpose of the Advocacy Toolkit for small holder farmers is to build the capacity of partners to better mobilise and engage with policymakers. This is aimed at influencing national, regional and international policies regarding their rights. An interesting analogy made by the toolkit about the farming hoe, noting that in Africa, it is ‘an extension to the hand of the farmer’. Small scale farmers, however, require other tools to ensure that the cycle of food production from cultivation to food processing and consumption remains a progressive, secure and beneficial process. These factors include access to markets, disease control, infrastructure development, and government support with greater public investment in agriculture. While most small-scale farmers in Africa continue to invest time, energy and resources in agricultural activities, this does not always guarantee improved livelihood, particularly food sovereignty. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, 925 million people still do not have enough food to eat and 98 % of them (906.5 million) live in developing countries. In 2011, many communities in Africa experienced prolonged drought with most parts receiving a rainfall deficit of more than 150mm, resulting in food shortage, malnutrition, population movements and increase in livelihood-related crimes like cattle rustling.