Date Posted: September 13th, 2010
In August this year, we brought you a news story from DRC regarding land ownership (Issue 122 of Farm Radio Weekly). Our story this week shows some of the potential impacts when refugees return to land they once owned or farmed. Farmers everywhere need to guard against crops being stolen, but land and general security issues in DRC make the situation more complex. Crop and livestock theft is more common in times of food insecurity, crisis or natural disaster.
The story from August can be accessed via this link: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/08/02/drc-addressing-land-disputes-through-decentralization-and-mediation-syfia-grands-lacs-irin/.
For an overview of the conflict in DRC, go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11108589.
This Farm Radio International Action piece highlights the work of Radio Maendeleo in DRC and describes their work on peace and development issues since the peace agreement was signed: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/02/18/radio-maendeleo-%E2%80%9Cclubs%E2%80%9D-encourage-peace-and-development-in-eastern-congo/.
This Farm Radio Weekly story from DRC discusses rebuilding the fish industry and how theft was an issue to be overcome: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2008/08/25/3-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-a-country-that-loves-fish-rebuilds-its-fish-industry-toronto-star-world-bank/.
Another Farm Radio Weekly story covers the issue of women farmers being attacked by armed forces in DRC: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2009/03/02/3-drc-women-farmers-who-are-victims-of-rape-cannot-return-to-their-lands-because-of-the-armed-forces-agro-radio-hebdo-women%E2%80%99s-enews-radiookapinet/.
You may wish to refer to scripts from Farm Radio’s package 67, June 2003, for more information on how communities can work together to re-establish food security following a conflict. Scroll down this page: http://farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/numerical.asp.
If you wish to explore the subject of theft and food security in your area, here are some questions that may help you start:
-How common is crop or livestock theft in your broadcast area? Are the thefts opportunistic, or is there an identifiable reason behind them, such as conflict or famine?
-How do farmers protect their fields and animals against theft?
-Is theft an issue which the entire community addresses, or are farmers left alone to manage and deal with their loss as well as the fear of further theft?
-What methods do communities in your broadcast area use to resolve disputes? Can you find an example of a community that resolved an important dispute?