Advocacy and Lobbying Program (ALP)

Strategic Objective: To influence decision-makers and agricultural policies that affect the livelihoods of the small-holder farmers through community cooperation and synergies with supporting stakeholders on the topics of farmers’ rights, and sustainable and organic farming.

Background

The program enables the most vulnerable people/farming communities to take charge of their situations by actively participating in influencing policies that affect them and ensuring better service delivery from the duty bearers. 

During the previous strategic direction, AFIRD has successfully managed to tackle several advocacy issues whereby strengthening farmer land rights, awareness creation on the national budgeting process, capacity building on local seed saving, and information sharing on land policy and nutrition (more and better food manual). Furthermore, we have inspired many communities and partners on using the permaculture approach in ensuring that children access food in schools.

However, AFIRD realizes a diversity of issues that affect smallholder farming communities including poor access to sufficient and healthy food, Loss of farmland, limited access to quality organic agro-inputs (fertilizers, pesticides seed, and equipment), limited access to production factors (land, water, finance), loss of biodiversity and lack of information on appropriate farming technologies.

The above issues are ignited by factors such as low knowledge of sustainable farming practices, increasing population, Land evictions, Gender-based violence, climate change, limited access to financial services and markets, negative mindsets, and ignorance about the agricultural policies by farmers. 

Therefore, in the wake of this situation, AFIRD will facilitate communities to take action by establishing community-based mechanisms for addressing the above factors. This will be achieved through the promotion and protection of human rights by using human rights-based development and evidence-based approaches, people-centered advocacy, and intensified public relations. Farmer capacity building on key issues, creating paralegals at a community level, permaculture, and evidence-based information dissemination systems, and practical demonstrations of appropriate farming technologies at an AFIRD Centre and community levels will be applied.

 The Program targets smallholder farmer institutions, schools, prisons, refugees, and local government at the lower level. At the national level, AFIRD will work with various like-minded partners like PELUM, ACSA, SEATINI, Food Rights Alliance, CSBAG, and the Government to ensure the promotion of the National Organic Agricultural Bill (NOAB) and related Agricultural policies

Strategies

  1. Networking

  2. Evidence-based advocacy

  3. People-centered advocacy

  4. Capacity building

  5. Documentation

  6. Use of ICT

  7. Campaigns

Key Result Areas/ Activities

  1. AFIRD is intensively connected with the prioritized advocacy target groups and partners and has made remarkable progress in promoting the above-mentioned advocacy issues

  2. Organic agriculture and permaculture have gotten more attention in the governmental programs including district agricultural activities and implementation in farming communities like schools, prisons, farmer households, and refugee camps

  3. Smallholder farming communities from the intervention areas have understood, participated, influenced, and benefited from the agricultural government programs and policies.

  4. Paralegals and local committees to supervise local development initiatives have been assigned.

  5. Children’s right to access food has been promoted in schools and other institutions

Key Result Areas/ Activities

  1. Networking at all governmental levels and NGO partners including participation in public agricultural events as well as continued feeding of information from the grassroots level to the national level

  2. Conducting dialogues and meetings with responsible local government officials

  3. Facilitation of farmers to have a more unified voice at the district, sub-county, and parish level through sensitization and training of smallholder farming communities in advocacy skills for community capacity building to develop advocacy strategies, paralegals, and local committees for participation in public affairs in the areas of their interest.

  4. Making information on AFIRD ‘s advocacy topics accessible to smallholder farming communities, for instance, translation and dissemination of agricultural policies into local languages e.g., National Organic Agriculture Policy, National Youth Policy (NYP), Children’s rights to access food as well as publishing current information on AFIRD’s advocacy activities on digital platforms and documentation on advocacy case studies

  5. Conduct studies on involvement in agriculture for specific vulnerable groups such as women, youths

  6. Gender-based interventions

  7. Facilitate farmer group leaders to engage and participate in actual budgetary processes at possible levels 

  8. Develop an organization advocacy strategy

  9. Program resource mobilization