COVID-19 has magnified global food insecurity and is driving unhealthy eating and worsening malnutrition, food experts say. They have called for deliberate global investment in food as medicine on the back of growing diet-related illnesses.
For Zimbabwean organic farmer, Elizabeth Mpofu, access to healthy food is liberation.
Millions of people across the world go to bed hungry. Scores do not have access to nutritious food owing to an inequitable global food system focused on industrial mass food production. The food from this system is less nutritious, more expensive and less friendly to the environment.
A world free from hunger is possible but only if we change how we grow and eat food. And resetting the food system — including all aspects of production, processing, marketing, distribution and the consumption and nutrition of food — is key to securing a sustainable food future post COVID-19.
For Zimbabwean farmer Sinikiwe Sibanda, planting more sorghum and millet than maize has paid off.
As the coronavirus pandemic has led to decreased incomes and increased food prices across the southern African nation -- it is estimated that more than 8 million Zimbabweans will need food aid until the next harvest season in March -- Sibanda's utilisation of traditional and indigenous food resources could provide a solution to food security here.
Oluwaseun Sangoleye’s son developed rickets after rejecting baby formula. So she started a business to make natural baby cereal from locally-sourced ingredients in Nigeria.
Experts across Africa are warning that as hospitals and health facilities focus on COVID-19, less attention is being given to the management of other deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which affect millions more people.
In Rwanda, Benimana Uwera Gilberthe, a scholar and pepper producer, experienced first-hand the challenges of breaking into agribusiness.
While in Nigeria, Ayoola Adewale is trying to understand if poultry egg farming will prove a profitable and viable business opportunity to the youth of the continent’s most populous nation. Also in Nigeria, Esther Alleluyanatha is understanding the link between young people leaving their villages for larger cities, the remittances they send home, and the implications on rural livelihoods and agriculture productivity.
“It is not easy to be in agriculture but you must have the perseverance and you must have the passion for it,” Ngozi Okeke (30), the director of operations at Frotchery Farms, tells IPS during a tour of the company’s factory in Ibadan, Nigeria. For Okeke, passion and patience are pivotal to business success. But she also recognises the need to create opportunities to nurture agripreneurship
among Africa’s growing ranks of unemployed youth.
A premium chocolate maker in São Tomé and Príncipe is on a drive to promote the taste for "made in Africa" chocolate, and tap into a $100 billion global indulgence associated with Valentine’s Day.
Africa needs to invest in agriculture by putting more resources into innovative research and development that can boost food and nutritional security, according to leading scientist, Nteranya Sanginga.
Zimbabwe needs urgent economic and political reforms to transform its economy amidst a growing national crisis, researchers say in a new study that urges swift policy changes and a sound financial framework to attract investment.
Africa will starve or survive on expensive food imports because it is not growing new farmers, research shows. And the challenge remains among researchers, policy makers, public and private sector actors to get African youth interested in agriculture on a continent where a growing number of people go to bed hungry every night.
Local knowledge systems rooted in traditional practices and culture passed down generations provide sustainable solutions to food and nutritional insecurity on the back of climate change, a conference heard this week.
Global food systems are ripe for transformation if people are to be nourished and the planet sustainable, says Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur of the Right to Food of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
A start-up in Zimbabwe is producing high nutrition foods using biofortified crops in a bid to fight micronutrient deficiency.
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) leads to night blindness, illness and death from childhood infections. In Zimbabwe, 36 percent of children under five years of age suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
More than 2 billion people in the world are suffering from malnutrition. This is the result of diets lacking essential micronutrients such as vitamins, iron and zinc, which are vital for the body to function, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
There is evident correlation between countries with high levels of children under five years of age who are stunted or wasted and the existence of political instability and/or frequent exposure to natural calamities, experts say.
But current food systems in Africa are not addressing nutrition because of the combination of poor investment in the agriculture value chain, inadequate policies and lack of accountability in addressing malnutrition.
As a result of climate change, resource extraction industries in Africa will be impacted by asset stranding, researchers say.
Desertification is not cheap. It has social, cultural, environmental and of course economic costs to reverse what it destroys.
Arama Sire Camara, a fruit and vegetable seller in the province of Kindia, some 135 km from the Guinean capital of Conakry, feels safer trading well into the night thanks to the Rural Electrification Project, financed by 21-million-dollar investment by the African Development Bank.
“With lighting on the road at night and illuminating our goods, it means we are safer, especially with all the cars on the road. You can work for longer after nightfall, and so we can make more of our products,” she says.
Disinvestments in fossil fuels amounting to 11 trillion dollars – eight times the global GDP – have been recorded in the last six months of this year, according to a new report.