After the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in December and the African Development Bank’s Dakar 2 Summit earlier this month, it seems that the world’s political leaders are still sold on the myth that “African farmers don’t produce enough food because they don’t use enough chemical fertilizers,” as Million Belay commented. These leaders propose a model of agriculture that focuses on the sustainable intensification of monocultures and increased availability of chemical inputs. In the short term, these techniques have been shown to increase yields, but they are not the only way to do so, and they carry immense social and environmental risks. Indigenous African food systems, on the other hand, are more diverse, better adapted to local conditions, and rely on enhancing soil biodiversity and carbon sequestration rather than damaging it.
Kasisi Agricultural Training Center, located in Lusaka, Zambia, trains local farmers and agricultural extension workers on how to build climate resilience without relying on Western models or supplies. By promoting agroecology, Kasisi has also helped support local food security and climate change adaptation.
For more information on agroecology and Kasisi’s work with small-scale farmers in Zambia, watch our new documentary.