The risks factors contributing to the dramatic rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in recent decades have been known for a long time but the Covid-19 pandemic has brutally exposed our collective failure to deal with them.
Wealthier countries struggling to contain the widening COVID-19 pandemic amid protests over lockdowns and restrictions risk ignoring an even greater danger out there – a looming global food emergency.
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.
Sarudzai Moyo, a former teacher, has begun a new career as a fishmonger. Once a week she makes the 450km journey from Bulawayo to Binga, on the shores of Lake Kariba, where she buys between 100 and 150 kilograms of fish for resale as the demand for cheaper dietary options increase in Zimbabwe.
In Amuru district, 47 kilometres from Gulu town in northwestern Uganda, the Omer Farming Company has proven that it is possible to farm on thousands of acres of land using methods that conserve the environment and its biodiversity.
Like many Mozambicans in the agricultural sector, 39-year-old Fatima Matavele, a commercial farmer in the district of Chokwe, some 213 kilometres north of the capital, Maputo, has had a tough year. Although the last few years have been hard, 2020 has proven to be the most difficult of all.
In Torit State, southern South Sudan, Margaret Itto is one of the farmers in Africa’s youngest country who have invested heavily in agriculture. But she is not able to access the lucrative market for her produce in the capital Juba simply because of poor roads.
Building inclusive and healthier food systems, and safeguarding the health of the planet will be some of the key priorities at the first-ever Food Systems Summit next year.
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.
Digital technologies in agriculture are helping address the twin problems of food security and supply chain disruptions triggered by COVID-19 in India, while augmenting the income of smallholder farmers.
Leveraging technology to match supply and demand of resources and food is key to overcoming the issues of starvation and food supply interruptions, Anshul Sushil, CEO and co-founder at Wizikey, a software that allows businesses to reach media directly, eliminating the middlemen, tells IPS.
With just a quarter of an acre of land in Kesses near Kenya’s Eldoret town in the Rift Valley region, Samson Tanui is practising agroecology and his permaculture unit has become the centre of attraction for farmers from near and afar amid food shortages during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the inherent fragility of food systems, Marta Antonelli told an international video conference organised by the Barilla Center for Food Nutrition (BCFN).
Shurugwi communal farmer, Elizabeth Siyapi (57) can no longer be scammed by unscrupulous middlemen to sell her crops cheaply. Nowadays, before she takes her produce to market she scours her mobile phone, which has become an essential digital agriculture data bank, for the best prices on the market.
The COVID-19 pandemic has raised the spectre of food insecurity as countries and citizens fear a return to the conditions that roiled the international food markets during the 2008 economic crisis.
Bulawayo, Zimbabwe' second city of some 700,000 people, has experienced a shortage of vegetables this year, with major producers citing a range of challenges from poor rains to the inability to access to bank loans to finance their operations. But this shortage has created a market gap that Zimbabwe smallholders — some 1.5 million people according to government figures — have an opportunity to fill.
Nobukhosi Cebekhulu (68) and Khetsiwe Tofile (64) are small-scale vegetable farmers who are producing from their permaculture home gardens in Malkerns, Eswatini.
Heartbreaking images of Indian farmers standing amidst swathes of rotting vegetables, fruits and grain have been flooding newspapers and TV screens lately. Crashing prices and transport bottlenecks due to the 40-day coronavirus lockdown in India, on till May 3, have driven some to set their unsold produce ablaze.
Samsul sounded very happy last Monday (Mar. 16) when recounting his experience of catching crabs worth more than $60 in a single day.
Brazil is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of coffee, sugar, beef, soya, cotton, and ethanol but due to its environmental and water footprint it ranks low on sustainability. Brazilian agriculture’s contribution to the loss of rainforest is a case in point – the Amazon lost as much as 3,465 square miles of forest due to fires last year – triggering widespread international outrage over the lax environment policies that allowed all of this to happen. Its large commercial cattle herd is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions. Brazil’s challenge is to make its model of agricultural development more environment-friendly.
Paradoxically, when the number of people suffering from undernourishment or hunger has risen in the world, so, too, have those afflicted by overweight and obesity. Latin America’s second largest economy, Mexico, for instance, is currently battling one of the world’s largest epidemics of obesity and its success is bound to be emulated by countries of the South. The numbers involved are staggering. The director-general of the National Institute of Public Health, Dr Juan Rivera told the Financial Times that “seventy five percent of adults and 35 percent of children and adolescents are overweight or obese… The State has a duty to protect public health.”