Testimonies via PAFO: African farmers face COVID-19
The Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO) has released a video of smallholder farmers’ experiences during the global pandemic (5 June). Smallholder farmers produce the vast majority of food consumed on the continent. PAFO says: “Just like health professionals, farmers are our most valued players during this pandemic. Farmers are right there on the frontline, working to make sure that Africa, and indeed the world, continues to be fed. Like true heroes, Africa’s farmers are not letting the hardship inflicted by Covid-19 keep them down.” The video presents brief interviews with farmers from Cameroon, Mali and Togo, among others, describing the difficulties of production, and getting produce to market, and planting for the future during national and international lockdowns. Ibrahima Coulibaly, a Malian farmer, says “I think this crisis must help the world to review itself and renew its commitment to make food sovereignty always come first in every country. Because any country locked without food can perish. That’s why policy makers in every country must invest in small family farms to improve the productivity of each country and create enough food supply.” PAFO is the voice of around 80 million African farmers through more than 70 farmers’ organisations in nearly 50 African countries.