There is no greater blessing than giving birth. When a new life comes into existence, as people we rejoice. In some cultures, especially in Africa, the whole community is so happy they make a feast to celebrate the new life. By the same token it’s such a joy to see the birth of seed enterprises… Continue reading Giving Birth to Seed Enterprises
In Pursuit of the African dream
Millions of people are migrating from rural to urban areas worldwide. They are looking for a better life and job opportunities that will lead them to prosperity and success. Sounds familiar? Yes, the so called “American dream”. Today, with all these big flows of people from rural to urban areas, the cities are not often… Continue reading In Pursuit of the African dream
A South Sudanese woman paints a heart wrenching picture of her country. It is struggling to feed itself. Resources are stretched to breaking point. The on-going conflict makes water hard to come by and climate change is only making things worse. “When the drought came, we lost everything”, she says. “We depend on imported food… Continue reading Growing peace
Being farmer, becoming agripreneur: Imitation is the highest flattery
On October 11, 2017, I attended a side event organized by the World Farmers’ Organization and the governments of New Zealand and Canada at the 44th Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). This side event focused on the role of farmers as stewards of environment, in adapting to climate change and attaining… Continue reading Being farmer, becoming agripreneur: Imitation is the highest flattery
More walking, less talking
“Is our talk aggressive enough?” was a provocation disguised as a question from an audience member during the CFS44 side event, Key achievements in the fight against climate change in light of the 2012 HLPE recommendations. Indeed, the data looks dire, and the threats are well...threatening. Clearly there is an urgency to act as food security… Continue reading More walking, less talking
Indigenous communities have traditionally passed information from one generation to another. Valuable information products of hundreds years of experience and observation of the environment that surrounds them. Information related to specific processes in agriculture, to the management of natural resources, and how to better adapt to climate change. This knowledge exchange has been a way… Continue reading Forever young
Woman: Life at the Sharp Edge
I have attended a number of side events during the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), but this one was different. The room a bit quiet, I could see more women than men. It was almost impossible to hold back the tears rolling down my cheek to hear the burden our mothers and sisters are… Continue reading Woman: Life at the Sharp Edge
Out from under your feet
How would you feel if everything that you worked for and all that you owned were to be taken away from you? Well this is the sad reality that many farmers around the world face, as they often do not own the land they work on. Issues such as wars, civic, ethnic and religious conflicts,… Continue reading Out from under your feet
Go Organic, Stay Healthy and Sustainable!
Agriculture is under threat—its sustainability is a big challenge for us all. Many options are being tried to make agricultural practices sustainable, and organic agriculture is one among them. The multiple features of organic agriculture that contribute to food security and help in achieving the SDGs were discussed at the side event on “Increasing food security through sustainable agricultural… Continue reading Go Organic, Stay Healthy and Sustainable!
Data democracy: a new age
The power of data over our lives is hard to overestimate. It governs how we understand and interact with the modern world, how it is measured and controlled. So what is being done to utilise open data for global food security and nutrition? A side event at CFS44 went a long way to answering this… Continue reading Data democracy: a new age
Good partnership for good stewardship in the agricultural sector
Climate change has tremendous impacts on the agricultural sector, which increasingly needs new technologies and other innovations to ensure food security and wellbeing for those who depend on it. On the second day of CFS44, I attended a side event hosted by the World Farmers’ Organization and the New Zealand and Canadian Governments on the… Continue reading Good partnership for good stewardship in the agricultural sector
Why good policies and public funding (only) won’t change the world
We have been cutting trees to plant food crops, since the beginning of time. Forest cover loss is a major contributor to climate change – the biggest challenge of our times. So, we won’t save the world without saving forests. However, while the connection between forests and climate is very well recognized, agriculture is an… Continue reading Why good policies and public funding (only) won’t change the world
Your only job is to lead
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. --John C. Maxwell, leadership expert Strong political leadership, some suggest, is necessary for economic and sustainable development. In developed and developing countries we’ve seen a direct correlation between a growing or thriving economy and sound political leadership. Parliamentarians are tasked… Continue reading Your only job is to lead
The many P’s of Partnership
...."Peace", "partnerships", "projects", "production", "perspectives", "participation" and "passion", to name just a few. I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many ‘p’ words together in my life! This was no English class on alliteration but instead a side event on How Cross-Sectoral Partnerships Help Smallholders Deliver a More Food Secure Future held at CFS44 organised by CABI, IFAD, CropLife International and… Continue reading The many P’s of Partnership
Digging deeper into soil: The future of food
It’s another rainy day in the coastal Odisha, India. The Bhitarkanika village looks drenched and dark. Meet Pampa Dolui, age 34, a single mother of two, who has adopted a grim routine over these months, digging soil outside her home to let in the saline water from the sea to enter her sweet water pond.… Continue reading Digging deeper into soil: The future of food
What a Waste
About one third of all food produced today—some 1.7 billion tonnes—is lost or wasted along the value chain. In developing countries, this occurs mainly in the postharvest phase due to lack of adequate infrastructure. In developed countries, wastage occurs mainly at the retail and consumption levels due to constraining regulations and unsustainable consumption patterns. (Gustavsson… Continue reading What a Waste
What would a woman do?
"Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world" is a popular saying by Marilyn Monroe. How about we give a woman the right tools so she can fix this world? It's worth a try. Today at one of the CFS44 side events, the panelists were discussing the role of women for… Continue reading What would a woman do?
Public-Private-Peasant-Partnership: Who needs who?
“Partnership is like the dark matter of the universe. We all know it’s there but, we are not exactly sure what it is made of.” Nick Perkins The term public–private partnership is not a new buzz word in the development sector and trying to paint a picture of the exact time it was introduced will… Continue reading Public-Private-Peasant-Partnership: Who needs who?
Agrobiodiversity: goin’ bananas for people and planet
You should eat a kilo of Cavendish bananas a day, if you’d like to fulfil your recommended intake of vitamin A. Or, you could eat one To’o banana. Too bad the Cavendish variety accounts for 47% of the worldwide production and 99% of the commercial export sale to developed countries; we seem destined to stuff… Continue reading Agrobiodiversity: goin’ bananas for people and planet
Food Insecurity Metrics Now in Sync
"If you can’t measure, you can’t manage" -Peter Drucker That is why metrics are important for the government or any institution, and development partners in addressing food insecurity, malnutrition, hunger, poverty. According to FAO, after a prolonged decline since 1990, the number of undernourished people has increased to 815 million in 2016, from 777 million… Continue reading Food Insecurity Metrics Now in Sync