African Women Organize To Reclaim Agriculture Against Corporate Takeover

Published on ZNet (first on Other Worlds), by Mphatheleini Makaulele, Simone Adler and Beverly Bell, Jan 9, 2016.

… Everybody originated with indigenous ways of living and the way of Mother Earth.

The real role of women is in the seed. It is the women who harvest, select, store, and plant seeds. Our seeds come from our mothers and our grandmothers. To us, the seed is the symbol of the continuity of life. Seed is not just about the crops. Seed is about the soil, about the water, and about the forest.  

When we plant our seeds, we don’t just plant them anytime or anywhere. We listen to our elders, who teach us about the ecological calendar. The seed follows this natural ecological flow. When it bears another seed, that one is planted and the cycle continues.

If you cut the cycle of the seed, you cut the cycle of life. We do not understand how something [like genetically modified and chemically treated seeds] can be called seeds if they cannot continue the cycle of life.

Reviving African Agricultural Values: … //
… The Global Loss of Seed and Food Sovereignty: … //
… Women Will Carry Forth the Alternatives: … //

… The women of Dzomo la Mupo are bringing food sovereignty to their families. In our home gardens, called muse, and our fields called tsimu, we teach children that food comes from soil, not the market shelves.

Women listen to the ecological calendar and know the seasons for planting, when to select [certain] seeds, and which will produce food. This is the knowledge of women all over the world. Children no longer know about the ecological calendar. What is the future for if we give that up? If we don’t talk about this as women, who will understand?

Women have to fight against the complete destruction of the nearby fields, mountains, and rivers so we can again eat the wild fruit and seasonal food. We are the ones who should defend the remaining indigenous forests from vanishing. Women need to fill the role of talking about [and acting on] the threats to a healthy future generation.

(full text).

(Mphatheleini Makaulele is an award-winning indigenous leader, farmer, and activist, and Director of Dzomo la Mupo, a community organization in rural South Africa. She is also part of the African Biodiversity Network).


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