By establishing in 2010 the Pan African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO), the African peasant movement eventually has become mature.
What a journey!
In the history, as small producers, we have always been consumer models from elsewhere, when it is not policies and programmes developed for us and by others in our respective countries.
Structural adjustment policies, favouring the emergence of peasant movements nationwide enable us to express ourselves and see our concerns considered.
Since then many things have changed. New threats have emerged and called are globalization, economic partnership agreement. This required a real need to strengthen us. Strengthening needs but also sharing our national and regional associations toward unfair competition to be imposed on us. Allow me not to insist on this.
In any event, we, African farmers have found the strength that we could be if and only if we join our hands. This is how we should understand the gathering of regional African organizations that led to the birth of PAFO.
Being definitely united, but to be heard. Bringing people to understand that we are carrying innovative underpinned by experience. Who better than we small producers could speak on our behalf or decide for us or without collecting our opinion? How do we participate in the debate?
The answer was very clear. We need to expand our movement. On the initiative of five regional networks of farmers’ organizations (ROPPA, PROFAC , SACCAU , FAE, UMAGRI) legitimate representatives of African farmers and national platforms farmers organizations members, we have created PAFO, with the sole motivation of defending the interests of its small farmers. Through PAFO, we aim at making our voice to be heard; the voice of the small producer on all issues related to agricultural affaires. Therefore, we wanted to prioritize our actions and focus on topics ranging from investment in agriculture to climate change through agricultural research without obscuring economic policies, networking capacity building for farmers’ and producers’ organizations, advocacy, etc….
I would to pay a tribute to Elizabeth ATANGANA, first Chairperson of the organization for the outstanding work she has done during her tenure at the head of the PAFO. A lady at the head of a producers’ organization. A symbol that shows, if it was needed, the place that women occupy within our platform. And it was during her tenure that important partnerships have been established including one that binds us to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) that supports us on all matters relating to agricultural information.
I would like also to thank Djibo Bagna, previously President of this Platform, for his excellent work during the past 2 years.
This is also the place to magnify cooperation agreements that PAFO has forged with the Regional Economic Organizations, the European Union, North and South NGOs that have constantly been with us every necessary time.
We should not ignore the contribution of the Commission of the African Union, in a beautiful show of solidarity with the farmers’ movement, joined the CTA to support this project of creating this web site.
The initiative to create this tool stems from the desire of the Chairpersons of PAFO Regional Networks members in order strengthen the knowledge of their members and to inform them about their activities. Therefore, we have decided to make available this tool to share information between them and their partners.
More than a website, this platform will be a receptacle of transmitting knowledge and know-how contained in the different sites of our network members.
The site already contains a series of tools to inform members and to learn about the issues that will be addressed permanently.
It will be what you make it. That is why I appeal every one of you to actively participate in its running. To do so your contributions are expected. Certainly, it will become a dynamic tool for the voices of African farmers’ organizations to be better heard and will relay our priorities at very high levels of decision-making on policy and resource management.
We hope you enjoy browsing the website.
Theo De Jager