Habert Marimpet Nairobi, Kenya 3 Questions 5 Answers 0 Best Answers 41 Points View Profile 1 Habert Marimpet Asked: 4:07 pmIn: Food World Food Day: Can we achieve zero hunger goals? 1 Today 16th October is the World Food Day. The 2nd Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) goal is ZERO HUNGER by 2030. As Kenya and Africa are we on course to Zero Hunger? What steps do we need to take? 1 Answer Voted Oldest Recent Kevine Otieno Kenya 6 Questions 6 Answers 0 Best Answers 70 Points View Profile Kevine Otieno Added an answer on October 16, 2018 at 4:53 pm This answer was edited. Zero hunger is possible. It requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders in the food and agriculture value chains. I will give it a five-pronged approach as follows: 1. Policy Evidently, there is a glaring inadequacy of sound policies to support agricultural and food production in Sub-Sahara Africa. Take Kenya for instance, the government allocates less than 2% of the national budget despite the claims that agriculture is the country’s mainstay. Agricultural inputs are very expensive and agricultural subsidies are clearly not a priority for the government. There needs to be clear policies on agricultural production. Such policies should also spell how cartels that have become a great threat in the value chains are dealt with. This will streamline processes and remove obstacles that have caused cost of production to spiral out of proportions. Wherever there are sound policies, transparency should be diligently encouraged. Corrupt elements that often stifle service provision should be nipped in the bud. 2. Encourage adoption of sustainable crop varieties Research has shown that traditional African/native foods have superior nutritional and functional properties than conventional foods. Crops like sorghum, for instance, have greater tolerance to low water levels and crop diseases than most conventionally bred cereal species. Given the increasing cost of production (and diminishing yields), farmers should be encouraged to go back to these native crops to not only curb crop losses but also add variety to the food basket. People need to embrace other food sources to reduce stress on widely recognized staples like maize and wheat. Native vegetables should be encouraged too. These have shown very high tolerance to pests and diseases. Their production eliminates the use of pesticides, which reduces the load of residual pesticides in foods. 3. Adopt nutrition and climate sensitive agriculture Abundance of food does not automatically translate to nutritional adequacy. The foods produced should provide adequate nutrients required by the consumer. Fortification and biofortification should be adopted to address cross-cutting nutrient inadequacies. At the same time, the form of agricultural production adopted should be sensitive to the climatic condition. It has reached a point where we cannot play blind to the issue of climate change. Water is a scarce resource, we must adopt technologies that will help in optimizing water use in agricultural production. Integrated systems that use waste from one process as input for the next process should be encouraged at the farm level. 4. Adopt urban farming systems Everyone should be empowered and encouraged to take charge of their food production process. Urban dwellers are the biggest consumers with little direct contribution to the production process. With the available technology today, every urban dweller can have a vertical kitchen garden. Interestingly, such gardens do not really require soil. With a vertical garden, every urban dweller can bridge their nutrient requirement needs by growing a variety of vegetables. These systems are so simple to use that even children can be encouraged to have their own vegetable gardens. It will also inculcate the culture of producer-driven economy and depress extreme consumerism to some extent. The often marginalized groups like women can also feel included in food production because they shall have overcome the hurdle of land ownership, which is one of the biggest hindrances to agricultural production in most of Sub-Sahara Africa. 5. Education and financial empowerment Information is the biggest driver of change in this century. People should be educated to take advantage of free education availed in some countries in Sub-Sahara Africa (like Kenya). With education, the people will be enlightened to make informed choices. They will know how to make meaningful connections that will add value to their lives. They will be receptive to change and easily learn and adopt new technologies. Financial inclusion is also required to drive production. There have been interventions by various organizations to increase financial access to the masses. The best case study is perhaps M-Pesa. The service has made it possible for the unbanked to access cash transfer services. With addon services to M-Pesa like M-Shwari, the service has been able to advance loans to micro enterprises to expand their activities. Many banks are also currently forming partnerships with other service providers to bring their services closer to the people. In Kenya for instance, one can now open a bank account without walking into a banking hall and access all the services from wherever they are. 1 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Leave an answerLeave an answerCancel reply Connect with: This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.