Connecting and Building the Capacity of Rural to Urban Food Sovereignty Organizations in Ghana

SSHRC Connections Grant project (2023 – 2025)

Principal Investigator, Dr. Siera Vercillo, University of Waterloo and University of Toronto at Scarborough 

Co-Applicant, Dr. Jasper Abembia Ayelazuno, University for Development Studies, Ghana and McMaster University

Co-Applicant, Dr. Jayeeta Sharma, University of Toronto at Scarborough 

Co-Applicant, Dr. Cameron McCordic, University of Waterloo

Our multidisciplinary team of geographers, historians, political scientists and urban planners will mobilize research for major food sovereignty organizations in Ghana to organize their efforts and build their capacity to work towards transforming neglected areas of their local food system, further shifting public attitudes, scholarship, and activism towards justice. Through a week-long workshop event in Tamale, Ghana, several major food sovereignty organizations with differing engagements in Ghana’s food system (activism, archiving, outreach and academic) will participate in movement-building activities facilitated by other academics and practitioners to coordinate efforts and develop collaborations post-workshop. Each collaborating organization will lead a field visit to a different part of the local food system to demonstrate strategies, and connect with and build the capacity of others in Ghana, including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) extension units, local faculty and students. After the workshop, the four organizations will participate in a Working Group with scholars to further develop outreach activities. Articles will be co-authored to apply practice for reconceptualizing food sovereignty and published in leading interdisciplinary peer-reviewed food studies journals. The articles will be launched at an event and podcast episodes will be developed for academic and non-academic collaborators and public audiences. Reports will also be developed and presented to MoFA and Global Affairs Canada to mobilize research for national and international assistance policy. Workshop outcomes will be used to develop graduate coursework in food studies in Canada and in Ghana, and UTSC’s Sustainable Farming and Food Futures Research Cluster.