Food Sovereignty with CONFRAS
The Confederation of Federations of Salvadoran Agrarian Reform, CONFRAS, is a confederation that represents 131 cooperatives in El Salvador. These cooperatives represent over 5,911 rural farmers throughout El Salvador.
SHARE has worked with CONFRAS since the 1990s to promote sustainable and organic agricultural techniques, the organization of the agricultural sector, and women’s empowerment. CONFRAS works to strengthen and defend national cooperatives by advocating for policies that promote economic and social development for its members.
Goals for CONFRAS and SHARE partnership are:
- Pass the Food Sovereignty Law in the Legislative Assembly.
- Plant 5,000 fruit tree to create pathway to food sovereignty and security and prevent soil erosion.
- Provide opportunities for women farmers to take on leadership roles within the cooperatives.
Sustainable food sovereignty is a crucial step in environmental wellness for El Salvador. To further the effort, CONFRAS and SHARE are at the forefront of preparing communities to adapt to changes in agricultural production as projected in a report created by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture entitled, “Tortillas on the Roaster”. The report predicts that by 2020 corn production will decrease by 32% and bean production by 8% due to land degradation and climate change if agricultural practices do not change.
In the face of such adversity, SHARE and CONFRAS advocate for policy changes on a national level and through direct programs like Campesino a Campesino, Women’s Empowerment through Food Security, and planting fruit trees that prevent soil erosion and survive severe weather. SHARE and CONFRAS recognize that women are key to developing sustainable projects that benefit entire communities. With the fruit tree planting initiative beginning summer of 2013, women will train members of their cooperatives in planting and maintaining the fruit trees.
CONFRAS will continue organizing their base of 131 cooperatives, which includes approximately 6,550 rural farmers and their families, to advocate for the Food Sovereignty Act and show the strength of organized farmers, ensuring that food sovereignty is included in all agrarian reforms. CONFRAS is an organization of agricultural cooperatives that emerged from the Agrarian Reform in the 1980’s.