Peasants and Pastoralist in the Market Place (Land Grabs and the Sovereign Food System in Africa): The Mali Experience
Martin Uadiale and Anirejuoritse Awala-Ale
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
Before the development of the concept and term ‘food sovereignty’, food sovereignty has been the guiding principle of food systems on the African continent. Culturally acceptable and nutritious food had been produced by the smallholder farmers in such a way that ensured environmental sustainability through environmental and ecologically conscious methods. However, irrespective of the historical role played by these smallholder farmers, governments of respective African countries such as Mali have continually neglected them and have subsequently lost faith in their ability to adapt and address the growing situation of hunger and undernourishment. The Malian government has put its trust in the neoliberal enterprise. This work aims at highlighting the insidious nature of foreign land investments in Mali. It is the argument of this study that these foreign investors are in direct competition with the Malian farmers, they threaten their access to land, water and threaten the existent environmental sustainability and biodiversity. In conclusion, this study asserts that the culminating effect of land grabs by these foreign investors is that they threaten food sovereignty and a chance at food security.