2022 was an event-filled year whose uniqueness would not have been possible without our friends and partners. We celebrate the different collaborations we had in 2022 that enabled us to amplify the voices of the small-scale farmers especially women and youth despite the challenges of that time that were beyond our control. Our unshaken values have seen ESAFF Uganda grow stronger and more influential.
Last year 2022, ESAFF fraternity made 20 years since a group of small-scale farmers at the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa organised a parallel session and formed ESAFF as a regional Forum to bring together small-scale farmers into an advocacy movement to influence policies and practices at global, continental, regional, national, and local levels.
Last year 2022, we contributed to the protection of land rights of small-scale farmers especially women, promoted seed sovereignty, exposed gender inequalities, empowered journalists and communicators to promote agroecology, campaigned for climate justice, advocated for increased public financing in agriculture sector, influenced the development of policies and strategies that promote the upscaling of agroecology, strengthened advocacy capacity of members among others.
We start this year 2023 with a clear understanding of the challenges ahead. More small-scale farmers especially women are experiencing land grabs disguised as investments, more plant biodiversity is being lost daily, more women and girls are experiencing gender based discrimination and violence, agriculture sector is still under-funded, some households are still experiencing hunger and malnutrition, the impacts of Climate Change are escalating in farming communities, private companies are investing heavily in pushing chemicals into our farming system, more consumers aren’t aware of the safety of the food that they are eating, media is being used to promote a food narrative that is harmful among other many challenges.
Throughout 2023, we will continue to create a platform for the amplification of the voices of small-scale farmers to contribute to addressing these challenges.
This year being the last year of the implementation of our ambitious five years strategic plan that started in 2019, we are looking forward to continuing working with our friends and partners to present solutions to Food Insecurity, Seed Insecurity, Financial Poverty, Land Inequality, Climate Change, Disasters, Exploitative Markets, Gender Inequality and Gender Based-Violence among others. We will continue to work towards creating an environment where small-scale farmers are empowered and self-reliant.
In 2023, we will continue increasing our membership to several other new districts as we create a greater platform for more small-scale farmers to be heard. This year, we will also strategically target the consumers of our food in a bid to create a larger movement of people advocating for food sovereignty and the rights of small-scale farmers.
Thank you our partners for your continued support and friendship, and we hope to have more fruitful interactions in 2023. We look forward to a great year 2023 characterised by greater growth, expansion, and substantial collaborations because the voice of the small-scale farmer must reach further than it did last year.
We wish you all a New Year 2023 filled with great achievements and higher heights.