Food Sovereignty and Agroecology

Since Trax Ghana was established in 1989, we have been supporting small-holder farmers in Northern Ghana to use agroecological practices on their farms. In Northern Ghana agroecology offers opportunities to increase the sustainability of farming through reduced and reversed environmental degradation and improved crop yields. Agroecology enables sustainable agriculture through natural resource management and environmentally-sensitive farming.

While the natural, environmental features of Northern Ghana mean agroecological practices are particularly important in this region, Trax also recognises that agroecology is often perceived in relation to food sovereignty and is understood to include social elements of connecting communities to the land and the production of food. This is particularly pertinent in Northern Ghana where communities and social ties are integral to daily life. That is why we always work with farmer groups and aim to building the capacity of farmer groups to govern their shared natural resources collectively.

Food Sovereignty

Agroecology is one of the principles of food sovereignty, a term which has continued to gain attention since it was first proposed in the NGO response to the World Food Summit in 1996.

Food sovereignty focuses of food for people rather than commodities, putting the right to food as central within primary food production activities. In line with this, food sovereignty also values food producers and their rights, supports local food systems where producers and consumers can co-produce the food system, and gives local governance to the local communities. Through diverse and agroecological farming, food sovereignty supports naturally-occurring ecosystem functions to increase resilience, making use of locally-sensitive, context-specific knowledge of food systems.

Food sovereignty is now a widely accepted term in many countries, including Ghana, and is a growing movement worldwide. The food sovereignty movement in Ghana is particularly active in opposing the Plant Breeders Bill, dubbed the ‘Monsanto Law’, which is being pursued by the national government at the moment.

Through our activities with local communities and farmer groups, Trax Ghana actively endorses food sovereignty and supports the practice of the associated principles every day. We unite with farmers and food producers worldwide and strive towards a healthy, social just, and sustainable food system. The 17th of April is the International Day of Peasants’ Struggle. Trax recognises the struggle of the farmers we support daily and the shared goals with other food sovereignty practitioners and activists globally.