Youth at the centre of new food security plan


A locust invasion has threatened food security. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A roadmap has been unveiled to bolster food security.

The new plan highlights readily available strategies that can protect food systems from climate and non-climate impacts as the coronavirus pandemic rages.

In a new report, Actions to Transform Food Systems under Climate Change, global experts give an 11-point strategy.

The report, under the lead of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), additionally outlines how to direct a $320 billion (Sh34.1 trillion) public-private funding to the transformation of food systems.

The report calls for more support for youth-oriented social movements dedicated to building sustainable food systems, noting that youth are effective agents of change.

The development comes in the wake of an onslaught on food systems especially in Kenya and across the region as a result of the locust invasion, coronavirus pandemic and droughts and floods caused by climate change.

The report follows a recent assessment by the United Nations which raised concern about food systems especially in sub-Saharan Africa that before the pandemic were reeling from a surge in droughts and floods, and East Africa’s ongoing battle against locust swarms and warns that the pandemic could precipitate a global food emergency.

“It is time for all of us to get talking about food and, most importantly, about food systems –all the different elements; from food production to processing to marketing and consumption, and all the steps along the way,” said David Nabarro, a World Health Organization special envoy for Covid-19 and curator of the Food Systems Dialogue.

Their plan highlights efforts to sustainably increase food production in developing countries in ways that increase incomes and food security in poor, agriculture-dependent rural communities.

Doing so, the researchers say, would significantly reduce the need for humanitarian assistance in the coming years and release up billions of shillings for investing in other social safety requirements.

“This effort is especially important for the millions of smallholder farmers in the developing world. They were already struggling against the effects of climate change before the pandemic struck and will face even greater climate threats long after the coronavirus has ended,” said CCAFS Director Bruce Campbell.