Global network launches project dubbed building local economies in E.A

01Feb 2020
Beatrice Philemon
The Guardian
Global network launches project dubbed building local economies in E.A

A global network of local communities—Slow Food in collaboration with its local networks in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has launched a project dubbed ‘Building Local Economies in East Africa through Agroecology’ aiming to support the development of-

-agroecological food systems, improve knowledge and communication, and include agroecology in policy frameworks.

A press statement issued by Slow Food stated that the project to be funded by the Agroecology Fund will run from this year to February 2021.

The first activity within the project is a Slow Food Academy on Agroecology, a four-month course organised by Slow Food Uganda and Slow Food Kenya, which will take place across both countries with the participation of some Tanzanians and DRC delegates.

The academy aims to create a regional coordination linking all Slow Food projects and their practices on agroecology with the aim of reinforcing and spreading effective and cost-efficient agroecological solutions, in order to guide local producers and farmers towards a new agricultural system.

Specifically, after an introduction on Slow Food and agroecology, the modules will focus on ecological, organic agriculture, education, and raising awareness of agroecology, the philosophy of good, clean and fair food, and effective advocacy and activism for a sustainable, ecological food system.

Commenting, Edie Mukiibi, Slow Food vice-president said: “The academy represents an occasion to train a new leadership who will shape the future of agriculture in Africa and elsewhere. Participants will have the possibility to discuss solutions to contemporary challenges and lay the foundations for an economically-viable food system”.

He added participants to the course are all young people aged between 18 and 35 years old, a mixture of farmers, agriculture professionals and indigenous peoples, who will meet four days per month from the end of January until May.

By spreading agroecological practices and strengthening farmers’ knowledge of agroecological farming, the project also aims to boost local economies and improve the livelihoods of communities in Kenya, Uganda, the DRC and Tanzania.

This will be done by enhancing market opportunities based on direct contact between producers and consumers, which generates higher incomes, more employment and well-being (as a deep multiplier effect) and contributes to a new narrative around agroecology.

This narrative is essential for a wider cultural shift towards considering agroecology “the agriculture of the future” and in order to advocate for long-lasting change.

Slow Food is a global network of local communities founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and counteract the rise of fast food culture.

Since its establishment, Slow Food has grown into a global movement involving millions of people in over 160 countries, working to ensure that everyone has access to good, clean and fair food. Slow Food is the umbrella organisation responsible for guiding the entire movement.