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PRESS RELEASE: ESAFF Uganda Stands in Solidarity on the International Day of Peasant Struggles


[Uganda, April 17, 2024] – ESAFF Uganda proudly joins the global community in commemorating the International Day of Peasant Struggles, a day that honors the resilience and sacrifices of small-scale farmers worldwide. On this significant day, ESAFF Uganda pays tribute to the brave souls of the Landless Workers' Movement who were tragically lost on April 17, 1996, and stands in unwavering solidarity with all those currently facing violent repression and unjust criminalization of their struggles.

 

Small-scale farmers are the backbone of our nation, contributing immensely to both local food security and regional stability. Despite accounting for over half of the poorest population in Uganda, small-scale farmers cultivate 90% of the food consumed in the country. However, small-scale farmers’ noble efforts are increasingly threatened by a myriad of challenges including encroachment by large-scale investors, the harsh realities of climate change, limited market access, exploitation by the private sector, and unfavorable policies.

 

In Uganda, gender disparities persist in land ownership, with women often denied their rightful access and control to land, relegating them to secondary roles in agricultural activities. This discrimination not only undermines women's individual well-being but also perpetuates cycles of poverty and vulnerability for generations to come.

 

Masudio Margaret, National Vice-Chairperson of ESAFF Uganda, articulates the organization's steadfast demands: "Our demands are simple yet profound: land, respect, and climate justice. Our struggle continues until every small-scale farmer's voice is heard. We till the soil not just for today but also protect and preserve for future generations. The struggle of peasants and small-scale farmers is the struggle for food sovereignty, social justice, and environmental sustainability."

 

Hakim Baliraine, National Chairperson of ESAFF Uganda, emphasizes the urgent need for governmental action: "Small-scale farmers have endured poverty for too long due to neglect from our leaders. Poverty infringes upon our rights, and we urge the government to uphold these rights and ensure our full participation in policy and decision-making processes at all levels."

 

ESAFF Uganda has been at the forefront of advocating for the rights of small-scale farmers, actively participating in the global movement for the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People living in Rural Areas (UNDROP). Despite Uganda's endorsement of the UNDROP, implementation into domestic law remains pending.

 

In observance of the International Day for Peasants’ Struggle, ESAFF Uganda will underscore the importance of adopting the UNDROP, a pivotal document safeguarding the rights and protections of rural communities. A special session will be held during a council meeting of Ttamu division in Mityana district to raise awareness, assess local relevance, and formulate action plans to support the declaration's implementation at the grassroots level. A special podcast on the UNDROP will also be released highlighting the need to domesticate the UNDROP.

 

Through constructive dialogue and collaboration, ESAFF Uganda aims to empower rural communities, uphold human rights, and foster inclusive development for all.

 

For media inquiries or further information, please contact the secretary to the governing board of ESAFF Uganda: Nancy Mugimba, National Coordinator, coordinator@esaffuganda.org.

 

About ESAFF Uganda

ESAFF Uganda is the largest small-scale farmer-led grassroots movement dedicated to empowering and advocating for small-scale farmers’ rights and interests. With a focus on promoting food sovereignty, social justice, economic empowerment and environmental sustainability, ESAFF Uganda strives to create a fair and equitable agricultural system that benefits all members of society. ESAFF Uganda is a member of La Via Campesina (LVC).

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