Rwanda is trying to reduce post-harvest loss by relying on new technologies to increase the amount of food available for consumption and help smallholder farmers confront some challenges caused by the overproduction of staple crops.
With its political and economic clout, the G20 should lead in delivering sustainable food systems as the world grapples with rising hunger, malnutrition and inequality.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic upended every sphere of life, the world was lagging on a goal to end hunger by 2030
. According to the United Nations, more than 820 million people had already been categorised as food insecure, meaning they lacked access to reliable and sufficient amounts of affordable, healthy food.
In three weeks, the United Nations will bring together farmers, scientists, policymakers and civil society for the last major event ahead of the September UN Food Systems Summit.
It is an uncommon occurrence to see farms with flourishing healthy crops in Kenya’s semi-arid Makueni County. But in Kithiani village, Justus Kimeu’s two-acre piece of land stands out from the rest. After embracing the regenerative agriculture (RA) technique, the 52-year-old farmer is looking forward to a bumper harvest of maize as all his neighbours count their losses following this year’s failed season.
With the two extremes of global hunger and obesity on the increase, a new report suggests a radical reset for food and nutrition to ensure the long-term sustainability of livelihoods and the environment.
Following an extensive scientific review, the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation (BCFN) is preparing to launch a new food systems model which incorporates nutrition and climate.
Small agricultural loans, disbursed through mobile phones and targeting specific farming activities at different phases of production, have more than doubled food productivity among thousands of smallholder farmers in southern and central parts of Tanzania over the past three years, improving their livelihoods.
Every harvest season, Susan Zinoro, a mango farmer from Mutoko, Zimbabwe, buries half the mangoes she’s grown that season. They have already started rotting either on the tree or have fallen to the ground before harvest. It’s a difficult task for Zinoro because she knows she is throwing away food and income meant for her family.
“This road is my home now and it will decide my future,” Sukhvinder Singh, a 27-year old farmer from the Moga district of Punjab, tells IPS. Last November, weeks after the government of India passed three farm bills he felt were anti-farmer, Singh travelled to Singhu, a village near Delhi, to demand the laws be repealed. Since then, he has been living in a tent he shares with five other fellow farmer-protesters.
While the world is grappling with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Peru is still dealing with an epidemic that it has not been able to control—the mosquito-borne viral disease known as dengue.
When his friends prodded him to use an agricultural app in July, rice farmer Mustafa reluctantly downloaded RiTx Bertani into his smart phone. Four months later, he feels happy to have given the technology a try.
After ten years without a strong La Niña weather phenomenon in Colombia, the climate pattern, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, could create a vacuum in food production and supply. Multilateral organizations, along with the Colombian government, are trying to implement measures to reduce malnutrition risk. Still, the population is already overwhelmed by a year of struggles that have deepened socio-economic differences.
As the world accelerates towards achieving the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it is time to replace the current broken food system. With only a decade left to reach the deadline, evidence shows that the way food is produced, processed and transported is not only destructive to the environment but it is also leaving millions behind.
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.
Placing an online order for farming inputs saves Velebantfu Dlamini about USD12 in transport fees for a round trip of about 320 kilometres. The 26-year-old vegetable farmer from Nkhungwini in the Shiselweni Region, south of Eswatini, uses a portal to order from the National Agriculture Marketing Board (NAMBoard) Farm Store. NAMBoard then delivers his order leaving Dlamini with time to stay in the field and look after his crops.
The Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) has appealed to the United Nations to educate citizens to use their roles as consumers to create a momentum for change. This was ahead of the 2021 Food Systems Summit which the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, will host on November 25 next year.
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.
In March, after the World Health Organisation first declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations activated a global corporate emergency mechanism for the first time. It had already written to all donor countries asking for $1.9 billion in front-loaded funding, and had begun emergency procurement. Its priority was to sustain life-saving assistance first.
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.