Thursday, 11 August 2011

Food Security- Remind me please

I have in the past two years used this term extensively, but today, as i prepare text for Evergreen Agriculture Website, i come across this text, of course, i have read it a million times before, but reading it again today, ignites a new thinking into food security:
The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing "when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life". Commonly, the concept of food security is defined as including both physical and economic access to food that meets people's dietary needs as well as their food preferences. Furthermore, food security has three broad components: Food availability (consistently having enough food), food access (have sufficient resources to get that food), and food use (having the knowledge and means to use that food nutritiously, as well as having adequate access to water and sanitation).
This statement reminds me of the Healthy Learning Programme, which i worked with since 2010, and which inspired me to start thinking deeply about food security in Africa, and my role as a young person.

It also reminded me of my visits to rural Rwanda and Uganda in June and July respectively, where i interacted with farming commuities which had the ability to consistently produce sufficient food but most lacked the knowledge and means to do so.
A typical small holder farm in Masaka district, Uganda

This text also reminds me of the African youth, over 50% of the continent's population, but are detached from agriculture and food production as a source of livelihood and employment. The education system which for decades prepared generations for white colar jobs, forsaking the need to equip them with life skills in food production and self sufficiency. The failure of our perceptions when we were growing up, to not appreciate farming. We are now at a crisis- No white colar jobs, no food, no future?

This very text, is a reminder of the food insecurity crisis in my country Kenya, which is affecting over 3 million people. Not because as a country we could not produce enough, not because the weather was entirely unfavorable, but also because we as a country and a generation, lacked the knowledge, the means, commitment and willingness to invest in a food secure society.
Crop failure in a school farm, should it have been this bad?

It reminds me of my visit to rural Uganda, which revived the desire in me to get working again! To get back to the community and provide that knowledge, and change their perception towards self sustaining livelihoods.
That desire to work with young people, especially in Africa, who are the backbone of the Africa's future in development.

It reminds me that the clock is ticking and i will be at it very soon!!!!

Remind me please....
....What does it remind you?







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