Farmers' organisations facing a new decision-making space
In many parts of the world, policies are increasingly being built at the regional level.
Mainly for historical reasons, West Africa has two regional decision-making spaces, both of which have important competencies in agriculture :
- ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States)
- WAEMU (West African Economic and Monetary Union)
In order to defend their views at these decision-making spaces, farmers’ organisations in Burkina Faso set up the Network of Farmer and Producer Organisations in West Africa (ROPPA) in 2000. ROPPA currently has 13 national member platforms.
ROPPA & SOS Faim
Since it was created in 2000, SOS Faim has provided financial support to members of the ROPPA, and has enabled them to organise themselves on a regional level as well as to defend the cause of small farmers. They rapidly gained international recognition, thus receiving financial support worthy of their ambitions, which allowed SOS Faim to withdraw from this field.
From 2009 to 2016, SOS Faim carried out advocacy actions with several West African farmers' platforms and the ROPPA. These actions were mainly addressed to European and African parliamentarians so they defend the vision of farmers' organisations in the elaboration and implementation of their policies. This vision is that of an agriculture that is socially and environmentally sustainable; that guarantees a sustainable management of natural resources; decent incomes for farmers and stable employment in rural areas.
Since 2016, SOS Faim has been supporting and accompanying the ROPPA and its Observatory of Family Farms (OEF) in the drafting of its annual reports.
In addition to greater international recognition and access to more funding, the ROPPA’s main achievement is the integration of its demands into the Common Agricultural Policy of the Economic Community of West African States in 2005. The ROPPA is now a key player in West Africa.
What prospects ?
SOS Faim will continue to support the ROPPA through different activities:
- Promotion of the annual report of the Observatory of Family Farms
- Advocacy campaigns on various themes – agriculture’s funding, agro-ecology, sustainable food systems, land tenure, integration of young people in agriculture