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Bern Guri makes the case: Agroecology is the Response to Climate Change

Here is an excellent 20-minute interview by our CIKOD partner, Bern Guri, on the Ghanaian TV program Joy News, which seeks to provide the public with an ‘agroecology 101’ overview, in the context of Africa Climate Week 2019. The Interview is held on an agroecological family farm.

A quote from Bern is: “I think we, civil society and the farmer’s groups are advocating that today, globally, agroecology is the answer. The answer to our food systems, the answer to climate change, the answer to a lot of the problems that we have today. And we think, especially at this time as we are having the Africa Climate Change (event), we should try to focus and see how do we get our governments to look at their nationally determined solutions for climate change to focus on agroecology for Africa. Because the push is still for ‘modernization’ of agriculture, but that’s by the interested companies that are outside and are producing these chemicals that they want to market. But there is no question that for us today, I think globally even the FAO has recognized that agroecology is the way. So for Africa, I think for this week they should come up with a united voice to say that agroecology is the policy we want to follow for our food systems in Africa.”

Another quote from the interview from Bern: “We think that government should take this as a national policy and look especially at our extension system. How do we re-educate them, for the need to unlearn the things we learned at school and re-educate them on this new concept of agroecology, and send them out to the communities. And that takes money. So government must shift their budget. In fact right now part of the concern we have is that government is spending so much money in the agricultural budgets basically for chemical fertilizers. If you look at the budget for extension, it’s almost zero. Government should shift that budget, from subsidizing chemical fertilizers to subsidizing extension for example. And extension for agroecology, where the people go out with expertise and support these farmers with agroecology. It’s expensive, but I think in Ghana we have the money, but we are not prioritizing correctly.”

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