Food Sovereignty Programme 



ECEN challenges the industrialised food system and advocates agroecology as the ecologically sustainable alternative that protects and builds biodiversity, is empowering to farmers, and promotes food sovereignty – local community control over our food and the way it is produced.


We work with smallholder farmers (mainly in rural ares) in five communities in the Eastern Cape towards developing a sustainable agroecological practice: household food security has increased; traditional seed varieties have been reintroduced and are increasingly being taken up by local communities; and land, water and other natural resources are cared for.



Agroecology is a holistic science; a practice; and a movement with a bottom-up approach to creating just, ecologically sustainable and viable food systems.

Agroecology works in harmony with nature and ecosystems, and builds on local cultures with their unique expressions of knowledge and practice that have developed over millennia around the world.



  • promotes zero waste; and
  • is non toxic and produces healthy, nutritious food.
  • ensures food sovereignty and livelihoods for many;
  • empowers smallholders to be more productive and helps to alleviate poverty;
  • promotes food sovereignty;
  • creates abundance where it is needed;
  • conserves water;
  • builds healthy soils;
  • is resilient in diversity;

Why We Focus on Agroecology

One of the key reasons for Biowatch’s focus on agroecology relates to the shockingly high contribution of the industrialised food system to global greenhouse gas emissions – approximately 50% (from the clearing of land, monocultures and intensive use of synthetic fertilisers, through to packaging, transportation and food waste).
Agroecology is the antithesis of this industrialised system, providing nutritious food, locally, with a low carbon footprint. We need a reconceptualisation of agriculture at a global level, with the emphasis on the local – and we need governments to put in place an enabling policy and legal framework that will support this.

Design and implementation of clean and green energy strategies for municipalities and private sector .Lobbying and advocacy for renewable energy .Facilitating energy efficiency programmes for communities and municipalities . Lobbying against fossil fuels i.e. coal, nuclear
Ocean oil and gas drilling

There are adverse consequences of oil and gas drilling including: high risk of spills, leaks of toxic chemicals, disturbance of marine life, ecosystem degradation and pollution. The impact of an oil spill would have devastating consequences for the coastal communities who rely on the sea for their livelihoods. Socio-economic risk assessment and feasibility assessment are lacking in these mega-projects, despite the socio-economic costs and threat to vulnerable communities and sustainable livelihoods of potential catastrophic oil spill incidents. Furthermore, the continual emissions of hydrocarbons which are fossil fuels is further exacerbating global climate change.
Rather than allowing our ocean to be smuggled in this way, ignoring climate science and the availability of vast ‘reserves’ of sunshine and wind for renewable energy, we believe that our entire ocean should be protected, with fishing grounds and other activities demarcated as the exception, rather than the current system of dividing and selling off portions of our ocean to the highest bidders.

Therefore ECEN will work on:

Lobbying and advocacy against ocean oil and gas drilling . Working with small scale fisherman and communities residing along the coast against ocean oil and gas drilling . Promoting and advocating for the preservation of oceans and marine species for food security . Working with indigenous communities e.g. San to preserve their livelihood in the ocean . Promoting the conservation of our water resources ie. wetlands , rivers and ocean for sustainable livelihood.

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