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Monday, July 21, 2014

AGRICULTURE, FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND HEALTH: THEIR ROLE, RELATIONSHIP AND RELEVANCE IN BUILDING PAN AFRICAN COMMUNITY



WHY FOOD SOVEREIGNTY AND AGRICULTURE ARE KEY AREAS OF CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/capagriculture/
The Congress of African People views Food Security and Agricultural Development as top priorities facing the Pan African Community. Let's explore a few reasons why:
1. Much of African Culture is based on an Agrarian Foundation. Lest we forget that our foreparents brought to the West were brought for our farming skills. Many of our parents were either born or raised on farms in the South.
2. Much of the land which African Americans owned was/is farm land, though much has been lost, and we must work to regain those losses. Therefore, we have an historical and spiritual relationship to the land base, as do Native Americans.
3. 85% of the Worlds Food supply is owned by 5 or less multi-national companies, Monsanto being the most known. These companies promote and lobby for the distribution of genetically modified foods (GMO), much of which can be connected to disease processes in our bodies. Thru these companies criminal and inhumane practices, they seek to dominate the food market by making seeds which only last one time, and making toxic fertilizers, which kill off the soil base.
4. These disease processes compromises our health and causes our people to become victims of a system which serves people bad food (GMO), causing them to enter the health care system early, and then further victimized by a health care system which addicts us to pharmeceudicals rather than farmeceudicals.
5. We at CAP adopt Keidi Awadu's admonition and policy, that we must make "Food our Medicine, and Medicine our Food".Farm/Garden grown foods and herbs are nature's way of providing the proper nutritional balance and healing for our Body Temples.
6. The growing and preparation of food has always a spiritually based practice in our community, and when we are disassociated with them, our spiritual balance and center is thrown into disharmony, and we become alienated from a key aspect of our Spiritual Culture. Western culture breeds such alienation, and organic food becomes a way of reconnecting to our Body Temples.
7. While Africa is known mostly for its mineral wealth, it also has one of the richest soil bases in the world, and most every food product can be grown there. Thus, gaining control of our Food Production is a key element of economic empowerment and development

POLICY CONSIDERATIONS FOR FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

1. Recognition of Africa as the Food Basket of the World
    A. Africa has this distinction because of its excellent climate, soil, and environmental conditions. Therefore, agricultural policy must not succumb to the need for industrialization. On the contrary, the emphasis should be on the greening of industry, such that we reduce the effects of pollution of land, aair, and water resource.
    B. The nutritional and medicinal value of African plants and vegetation should be thoroughly researched and exploited. Following such research, market analysis should be done to explore the best ways and methods of bringing products to market. 
    C. Of major import is the spiritual, relationship and connection African people have enjoyed historically to the land of our ancestors. It was the rationale for bringing our people to the "West". This valued relationship must remain paramount in any and all policy and planning considerations. The spiritual dimensions of this relationship must also be embodied in our cultural and creative production. 

2. The Primacy of the Relationship between Agricultural Production, Food Sovereignty and Food Security.
     A. African land must reside in the hands and control of African people and due consideration given to being administered by Tribal groupings with general guidelines. Birth on the African continent is not a criteria for being African, rather, having historical, cultural and spiritual ties to the land, people and culture. With Tribal groups having administrative control ensure to some degree, the maintenance of valuable cultural traditions and practices since many grew out of Agrarian society.
     B. No aliens should be allowed to own African land. Short term leasing should be the only options for aliens.
     C. Companies like Monsanto should be banned from all African and Caribbean soil and must be considered enemy combatants. Such companies seek domination and control of food production and undermine sovereignty and security rights and responsibilities. 

3. African and Pan African Policy Makers and Planners must adopt the value and admonition that "Food is our Medicine, and Medicine is our Food". 
    A. First and foremost, this policy is people centered rather than profit motivated. Western medicine, despite its ethical declarations, is driven by large profits to be made in the GMO, hospital and pharmaceudical industries.
     B. African values and ethics dictate that emphasis should be better spent on prevention vs. the curative aspect of medicine. Based on the Maatian principles of balance and harmony, Integrative approaches to medicine and health are encouraged.

4. Balance should be sought with crops for import/export and those to be used for local consumption. 
     A. Companies allowed land use, under lease, for export crops such as cocoa, should not only pay fair wages, but also be contracted to grow crops for local consumption at fair prices.
      B. Market analysis should first start based on local needs, then, regional, national, Pan African and then World. African proverb says, "Collect sand where you are standing, not running down the beach."
      C. A division of labor in the food production industries should reflect the needs of import, export, local consumption, labor technology needs, transportation, distribution; soil fertilizers, climate and environment.

5. Education of the medicinal and health qualities and nature of food should be given highest priority in Pan African Communities. 
       A. Emphasis should be put on the health needs and well being of people above profits. Knowledge of Farmacology must be incorporated into Rites of Passage. 
       B. Food Production and Sovereignty are among the highest value considerations since food comes from the earth to nourish our Body Temples. Food is a connecting factor between the divine, nature and the human spirit, and therefore, its production cannot reside in the control of aliens. This Sacred relationship must be embodied within the cultural and spiritual fabric  of our Pan African Community. and no alien will ever have the right to abridge or interfere with this relationship. Anyone seeking to break this bond will and should face the full, force and effect of our community, ancestors, and African Gods.

6. Forming Guerilla Gardens and Seed Banks are  Critical to Food Sovereignty
        A. Guerilla gardens are necessary to guard against sabotage and/or legal manipulation by Monsanto type companies and interests. Their main purpose is to grow organic seeds for saving in Seed Banks.
        B. Farmers and Community gardeners must save organic seeds in order to ensure communities maintain free and unimpaired access to Non GMO foods. Corporate interests seek to dominate the food industry. Seed banks are a key factor against wanton domination and interference in the community's spiritual relationship with its food sources.

7. Unite and join the Global Movement against deforestation and pollution of water sources. 
        A. Hemp,  Bamboo and other natural products can be used to make most products that wood is used for. Some research cites as many as 300 products at a minimum.
        B. Many of the worlds forested regions continue to house medicinal and nutritional food sources. As Stewards of the land and planet, it's our duty and responsibility to protect these regions and resources from human predators.
         C. Likewise we must also protect our oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, streams and waterways from pollution, as they are also sources of untold and unlimited nutrients for our Body Temples, therefore giving them Sacred value and worth. The collection of rain water is also a protected practice with proper regulation.  

8. Pan African Agriculture, Food Sovereignty, and Health Institutions and Movements should reflect policies, programs and practices which promote the maximum progressive and collective interests of African people.
           A. As a global community we must have policies and practices which clearly draw the role and relationship of agriculture, food sovereignty and health to each other. Each industry and system share an inter-dependentcy which slhould first, be expressed in policy formulation.
           B . A clear and concise definition of what we mean by food sovereignty is needed here. Food Sovereignty means, that African people, wherever we are, have the right and responsibility to control our food production, and that this right cannot be abridged b y any alien force or power. As an African people, we reserve the right of Self Determination to assert our spiritual connectedness to the agricultural products we consume into our Body Temples. No alien can define this relationship for us, as this is a Sacred domain.
           C. Thus, the Congress of African People (CAP) calls for the formation of Pan African mobilization efforts, institutes, research facilities, alliances, regulatory entities, farmers, unions, Integrative Medical Schools, and clinics, physician assistants and nursing schools, trade/commerce, and export/import entities, all of which subscribe to the above policies and practices in the Spirit of Maat, our unifying Spirituality and foundational principles.
            D. Though Agriculture, Food Sovereignty, and Health are independent industries, in the Pan African context, they form and inter-related whole. They, each, and together, contribute in significant ways to a system of Wellness, Prevention and Care which is grounded in African history, culture, and science. In our pursuit of a health and agricultural policy platform, it remains important to maintain cultural and historical continuity. Food Sovereignty is the key link which allows us to do this. Herbs and food have traditionally been used for health purposes. In many African tribal groups, harvest festivals were and are a significant event of cultural and spiritual  nature. The Pan African holiday of Kwanzaa is based on such  a harvest celebration. We, as a global community, must formulate other relevant institutional structures which re-inforce these cultural and spiritual traditions. Our challenge today, is to ground our scientific advancement in these key areas, in the knowledge and wisdom of our Ancestors. Ase' MK 71414

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