It is early Saturday morning and Planeta Hatuleke, a small scale farmer of Pemba District in Southern Zambia, awakens to the comforting sound of rainfall. As the locals say, the “heavens have opened” and it is raining heavily after a prolonged dry spell.
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.
It was almost a decade ago when Ruma Begum and her family left their home in Bangladesh’s coastal Tazumuddin upazila or sub-district and travelled some 50 km away to start a new life. They had been driven out of their home by an extreme and changing climate that has continued to ravage the district of Bhola.
Despite latest research showing Turkey lagging in overall food sustainability, progress in sustainable agriculture appears to be a bright spot in the country’s troubled agriculture industry.
When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a global appeal for “zero hunger” on World Food Day last month, he provided some grim statistics rich in irony: more than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, he said, while two billion people are overweight or obese.
Ibrahim Harouna and his neighbours sit under a tree at his uncle’s house, playing chess and chatting amid the simmering heat of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.
The sun has barely risen when Phlida Kharshala shakes her 8-year-old grandson awake. He hoists an empty cone-shaped bamboo basket on his back, sets the woven strap flat across his forehead and off they go into the wilderness.
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.
Adwoa Frimpomaah, a smallholder farmer from Dandwa, a farming community in Nkoranza, in Ghana's Bono East Region, and her two children have been consuming insect-infested and discoloured grains produced from their three-acre farm.
China’s almost meteoric transition from a being a low income to a middle income country within a span of four decades is often perceived as a miracle analogous to the post Second World War Japanese economic development experience.
With up to one billion undernourished people around the world, and agriculture and land use systems increasingly vulnerable to climate change and land degradation, more companies within the global food industry need to start aligning their operations with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs.
“Unfortunately the overall nutritional panorama of Egypt does not look well,” says Dr. Sara Diana Garduno Diaz, an expert concentrating on nutrition and biology at the American University of the Middle East. Diaz’s research focuses on dietary patterns and ethnic-associated risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
Water supply has long been a key issue in California. Today it is no less critical, especially given the years of drought that California is experiencing, lending additional impetus to assessing the impact of agriculture on water.
There’s much to think about regarding food this month. April is Reducing Food Waste Month in the United States, as efforts mount here to reduce food loss and waste, while globally Sunday Apr. 7 was World Heath Day.
Food sustainability, both in production and consumption, is at the heart of a healthy public and planet.
On World Health Day, it is increasingly clear that a radical transformation of the global food system is sorely needed.