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‘Land grabbing a major threat to food security’

Nov 18, 2010, 11:40 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The coordinator of the Network of Farmer-Based Organisation in The Gambia (NACOFAG), Alieu Sowe, has opined that global land grabbing continues to pose a major threat to food security in Africa.

Mr Sowe made these remarks in an interview with this reporter shortly after his return from an African regional meeting on land grabbing organised by IPC-FAO and FIAN under the coordination of ROPPA and the network of peasant farmers-CNOP in Mali.

He said the forum, attended by more than 24 African countries, discussed the issue of land grabbing extensively.

“We discussed the issue of rising level of global land grabbing and natural resources, which has started signalling riots, food insecurity, poverty and more so displacement of people,” he said.

He added that the meeting was held to see how best to promote responsible governance of land tenure and natural resources, underline the necessity of an effective political will to promote land reforms, and regulate investment in Agriculture to protect particularly vulnerable groups.

Mr Sowe said that during the meeting, farmers proposed that states should recognise existing land rights.

“We also discussed CSO [Civil Society Organisation] representatives and allocation of technical supports and human resources to implement the new law and rules to create accessible institutions for registration of rights and protection of vulnerable groups,” Sowe explained.

Mr Sowe also said that there were some strategies put in place which include the launching of campaigns, dialogue and discussion with stakeholders such as parliamentarians, the executive, the judiciary, local chiefs and village heads to help in the welfare and development of the peasantry.

He maintained that it is important to involve journalists from the print and electronic media in the issue of land and the environment, while calling on civil society organisations to maintain a common voice towards the realization of their objectives.