WOMEN LAND RIGHTS CAMPAIGN
ESAFF Uganda recognizes the ability of women and girls to exercise and protect their rights to access and control of land despite the discriminative cultural norms therefore the organisation builds capacities of women to understand their legal rights and create awareness on land right issues in communities. Through lobby meeting and dialogues, ESAFF Uganda creates platforms for women and girls to engage with local, national and regional leaders on issues related to land rights. Over 60 percent of the women who have ever participated in these engagements understand their land rights and can loudly speak about them, though many women and girls aren’t fully enjoying these rights.
The campaign also recognizes the role of men and boys in promoting gender equality and this led to the initiative of Men Engaging Men (MEM) on women land right. ESAFF Uganda organizes men-community meetings were men with changed mindsets talk to other fellow men who don’t appreciate women rights. Over 40 men in northern Uganda have become change agents for promotion of women rights. Most of the oppression brought on women by men are hidden under culture norms and practices, Men Engaging Men (MEM) activities help in highlighting such oppressive norms and practices and create discussion among men themselves. Through this campaign, some men now support their wives and girl children.
This campaign focuses on grassroots movements of both men and women that are alert about women land rights and actively defend them. The campaign also involves holding duty bearers from local to national level accountability.
SAVE MY SEED CAMPAIGN
Save my seed campaign focuses on protecting seed security and sovereignty of small-scale farmers in Uganda. Accessing good quality seed among farming communities has become a challenge, women in most cases suffer the biggest challenge of poor quality and inadequate seed. Under this campaign, ESAFF Uganda promotes Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS) because it addresses issues related to seed security and sovereignty of smallholder farmers. This reduces monopolies in the seed sector and increases farmers’ seed choices. This campaign focuses on building capacities of women and men in multiplying, saving and distributing good quality seed as well as generating experiences for strengthening the farmer managed seed system. As a result of establishing seed multiplication gardens and seed banks which they use to multiple and share seed among themselves, the financial burden that comes with buying seed from the market and sometimes with uncertainty is reduced.
ESAFF Uganda focuses on promoting models like Community Managed Seed Security model (CMSS) that protect the seed security and sovereignty of smallholder farmers. The model mainly aimed at providing farmers with a practical, harmonized and systematic approach of promoting community-led seed security. Small-scale farmers also establish Farmer Field Schools (FFS) to improve access to Plant Genetic resources (PRG). The FFS empowers farmers through field based experiential learning, it enables farmers to make their own observations, analyse these observations and use the results as a basis for conclusions and decision making.
With evidences collected from the different levels, smallholder farmers use the different platforms created to advocate against laws/policies that undermine the farmers’ rights or seed sovereignty.
AGROECOLOGY FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN
ESAFF Uganda recognizes the fact that agroecology is the main solution to ensuring food production, gender equity and climate change adaptation amidst the never ending debate on how to nourish 37 million Ugandans; eradicate hunger and poverty; assure rural livelihood; eradicate inequities; assure good nutrition and health; all in a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable manner.
This campaign aims at challenging Industrial Agriculture and promoting agroecology that recognizes temporally and spatially diversified farming systems, wider range of locally adapted varieties/breeds, low use of external inputs and challenges crop monocultures at farm.
ESAFF Uganda supports the movement of small-scale farmers on agroecology to ensure that more farmers practice agroecology through popularizing agroecology at community, local, national and regional level. ESAFF Uganda promotes small-scale farmers’ innovations that improve soil management, water management and farming system which maximize the use of local resources and knowledge. ESAFF Uganda is also currently campaigning for the integration of agroecology in government agriculture sector policies since it’s identified as a solution to food security and in attaining food sovereignty
In 2014, while in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, the government of Uganda together with other African countries made a declaration on accelerated agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods; termed as the Malabo declaration 2014. Under this declaration, the government of Uganda promised to increase agriculture allocation to 10% of the national budget to agriculture and rural development; end hunger by 2025; halve poverty; boost intra-African trade; enhance resilience in livelihood and production systems to climate variability; and committed to mutual accountability.
Recognizing the fact that most of the current challenges that small-scale farmers are facing are mostly related to limited public investment and mutual accountability in the agriculture sector. The Malabo campaign focuses on tracking government progress on the 7 commitments as well as holding government accountable on the same. Using the PETS/PSAM model, ESAFF Uganda builds the capacity of men and women in public expenditure tracking and encourages women to take part in budget processes from village to national level. This process has built confidence of small-scale farmers to engage with local leaders and hold them accountable on issues related to investment in agriculture. ESAFF Uganda then organizes engagements between small-scale farmers and policy makers as well as government officials to discuss progress made towards the 7 commitments.