The Women trying to Revolutionise Agriculture in West Africa

Outside Mariama Sonko’s home in the Casamance region of southern Senegal pink shells hang on improvised nets that will be placed in mangroves to provide a breeding spot for oysters. Normally, women collecting oysters chop at the branches – a method that can harm the mangroves. But these nets allow them to harvest sustainably, says Sonko, who is trying to revolutionise agriculture in west Africa. Sonko, 52, heads Nous Sommes la Solution (NSS, We are the Solution), an ecofeminist movement of more than 500 rural women’s associations in Senegal, Ghana, Burkina Faso, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Mali. The movement promotes sustainable agroecology and fights large-scale industrial farming. “We promote agroecology and food sovereignty in Africa. Women are invaluable actors for the development of the rural areas,” she says. “We want to valorise this tireless work of women who are concerned about the environment and the health of their families. They have always worked in agriculture, and they do not use the products that ruin the ecosystem nor the health of humans.”

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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