The concept of Food Sovereignty recognises food as a human right and not a commodity. Access to sufficient nutritional food for a healthy life is a basic human right because for is essential for life to persist.
For many, food is much more than the necessary nutrition for a healthy life. Food is often important socially and culturally – most regions of the world have traditional dishes which have cultural significance. People gather to share meals socially and generations inherit recipes and traditions from ancestors.
Yet for others, food is not just a meal or socially important, it is a way of life. Farmers and other food producers work with food throughout the day, every day. They earn their livelihood from food, food supports their families and impacts their daily lives, not only through eating it but by living and breathing it too. Food sovereignty acknowledges the rights of food producers and calls for these to be respected.
Here in northern Ghana, as in many parts of the word, farming is not only a way of producing food and earning an income, it is a way of life. Farming is embedded in everything we know and do: farming is in our culture, our traditions, and our heritage. In Upper East Region of Ghana, where Trax’s head office is located, up to 80 percent of people gain the majority of their livelihood from farming. This isn’t only because it is how we provide food for our families, but also because it is how we are raised, it is central to our communities and social interactions, and it connects us to the land on which we live.
Trax supports farmers and acknowledges the local cultural dynamics which influence food production, choices and preference, and food consumption. We therefore support food sovereignty and the associated rights of food producers, local food systems, and food to feed people rather than as a commodity. We have been supporting farmers in northern Ghana with agroecological practices for 27 years and we continue to do so.
As we approach the start of this year’s wet season Trax will again be facilitating priority needs assessments with new farmer groups we will be supporting so the farmers can identify their priorities. This is an important part of what we do so that we can ensure Trax’s intervention is sensitive to the local context. We recognise that this includes farming as a culturally-embedded way of life.
We support food sovereignty, agroecological farming, the rights of food producers in northern Ghana, and the local food system. We also recognise that farming in northern Ghana grows food sovereignty through local cultural traditions.