The organization and the grouping of African farmers is the culmination of a long process. As far as can be traced in the recent history of farmers movements, it has been an important stage like that of the 80’; During these years, African countries engaged in political disengagement related to structural adjustment programmes opened up to community life by establishing laws and regulatory frameworks that enabled communities to organize themselves to take charge of their destinies.
The emergence of national farmers’ organizations has enabled farmers to take control over their concerns. At the same time, it has also enabled to get in touch with decision makers to not just deal with issues of agricultural production where others previously had the responsibilities to think and decide for them. Now farmers are involved, through national dialogue frameworks in all debates on strategic and policy issues and give their views on everything related to agricultural affairs.
In response to globalization and the threat seriously on agricultural production on the continent because of the Economic Partnership Agreements, the African farmers’ organizations driven by a survival instinct felt the need to come together at the sub-regional level for a better positioning. The time is therefore for the establishment of effective regional frameworks to meet the challenges of regional integration and trade liberalization. Therefore, in the five major economic regions of Africa, are emerging regional organizations resolutely engaged in the battle of saving family farms and the fighting for the interests of millions of small farmers grouped in national platforms in more than 30 countries.
In this way, the sub-regional networks of farmers’ organizations and agricultural producers of the Maghreb (UMAGRI), of the Southern Africa (SACAU) , of Central Africa (PROPAC) , of the Eastern Africa (EAFF) and of West Africa (ROPPA), working together since 2003 on continental issues of interest having a significant impact on African agriculture. It is in this context that we must embed the grouping of the five regional networks who met in Addis Ababa in May 2008 to discuss the conditions of creating a platform to unite their efforts and harmonize their concerns. These consultations have resulted into the Addis Ababa Declaration with the creation of the Pan-African Farmers ‘ Organization (PAFO).
It is under the auspices of the African Union that was held in Lilongwe, Malawi from 27 to 29 October 2010, the PAFO Constitutive General Assembly. This meeting was held under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Ngwazi Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika and Chairman of the African Union. And this reflects the attention that is now given to African farmers’ movement and family farming.
This agriculture that remains and will be for a long time, the basis of the modern food supply in Africa. The agriculture that just needs to be supported by appropriate research, favourable investment and adequate protection in order to compete or exceed industrial production and remain the only guarantee of food sovereignty of African communities, countries and sub -regions of Africa .