Nelly Bassily | February 4, 2008
We began our series on conflict and food with a story that explored how violence in Kenya is crippling the agricultural sector by keeping farmers away from their fields. While we are saddened by the human toll of this recent conflict, we are also heartened by the stories of post-conflict recovery in other parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
In many countries in the Great Lakes region and West Africa, the emergence and restoration of peace is allowing for a return of citizens – refugees and internally displaced people, as well as former combatants. In each of these countries, restoring agriculture is crucial not only to ensuring food security and economic growth, but also to promoting long-term peace.
If you broadcast to an area that is recovering from conflict, farmers in your area surely have many stories to tell. You may consider hosting a phone-in show to ask farmers questions such as:
-When you returned to your farm, what were the first steps you took to begin providing food for your family?
-Have you altered your farming practices since your return (for example, does the farmer now plant “survival” crops to provide food in difficult times)?
-What challenges have you faced – and what challenges do you continue to face – in rebuilding your farm and farming business?
-How has your community and/or farmers’ association worked together to overcome these challenges?
You may wish to refer to scripts from DCFRN’s package 67, June 2003, for more information on how communities can work together to re-establish food security following a conflict. (You may also find this information useful if your broadcast area is recovering from another type of emergency, such as a natural disaster, which has forced farmers to leave their land):