Nelly Bassily | February 18, 2008
We began our series on Conflict and Food with a news story that described the many ways that violent conflict can undermine small-scale agriculture, and ultimately national food security. At the conclusion of this four-part series, we are pleased to bring you a story about the power of farming to improve people’s lives – even in very difficult circumstances.
We invite you to review the previous news stories in this series, at the links provided here:
–Kenya: Violence forces farmers to flee, threatens food supply
–Liberia: Farmers rebuild agriculture sector against the odds
–Africa: Reintegration of ex-combatants through agriculture
One of our motivations for preparing this series was an observation that the impact of violent conflict on farming and food security seems underreported in African and international media. We will continue to search for stories about how African farmers are affected by – and coping with – conflict in their home countries. But this is where we could use your help! If you are familiar with a situation where farmers are coping with conflict, please e-mail FRW Editor Heather Miller at email@example.com to discuss how we could feature their story in a future issue.
Here are some areas you may wish to research, depending on the circumstances in your broadcast area:
-What methods do communities in your area use to resolve disputes, such as disputes over local resources? Can you find an example of a dispute that was successfully resolved?
-If there are camps for refugees or internally displaced people in your area, what activities do people in these camps carry out to maintain their food security? In what way do local farmers interact with the displaced people (for example, is local food purchased by the camp; are refugees hired as agricultural workers for larger farms?)
-If there is an ongoing conflict or insecurity in your area, how have farmers who remain on their land adapted their practices to maintain food security? If overall food production has been reduced, how are farmers and others coping?
Finally, for more information about refugees in Africa, you may wish to visit the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ report on The State of the World’s Refugees 2006:
For additional broadcast material related to refugee health and food security, please consider the following from DCFRN package 67:
–Health considerations for refugees
–Growing vegetables in a refugee camp
–An innovative farmer grows food for refugees