Hivos International

Sustainable Diets for All

Health is unfair. This was the conclusion that Sterhen “Saska” Akbar, Project Coordinator of Riset Indie, came to at the end of the Knowledge Café discussion at the Bandung Food Change Lab talk show and exhibition, held from 23 to 24 November 2017 in Bandung, Indonesia.

Uganda’s food production has been on a steady decline owing to climate change coupled with a growing population. The shifting scale of food production has brought with it extremities such as malnutrition and hunger in sub-regions such as Karamoja, Teso and Lango.

On the surface at least, modern foods systems appear to be astonishingly diverse. A person walking into a supermarket almost anywhere in the world can be overwhelmed by the profusion of choices. The productivity of our food systems is also impressive: between 1961 and 2001, crop yields more than doubled in all regions of the developing world except Africa

A recent report by the National Planning Authority in Uganda has revealed that the country is still among those where levels of hunger remain high (NPA, 2017). According to this report, the daily diet of Ugandans only comprises 1,860 calories instead of 2,200, which indicates the country may not attain Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Two. SDG 2 commits countries to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

Hivos Director of Operations Sanne Nolst Trenité toured a number of Hivos projects and partners in Indonesia at the end of April until early of May this year. For staff at Hivos Southeast Asia, her visit provided opportunities to meet her and discuss developments important to Hivos with her. Interaction, engagement, inspiration, acceleration and support were recurring themes throughout her visit.

HIVOS Southern Africa has commended government’s efforts in promoting good health through healthy diets and exercise, to help reduce the number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the country.

Hivos Southern Africa Regional Advocacy Manager, Sustainable Foods, William Chilufya, in an interview yesterday applauded government for establishing a social determinants department under the Ministry of Health to promote good health.

Last week, the world celebrated the International Women’s Day. While tremendous gains have been made economically, socially and politically in the last decade for women, a lot more still needs to be done. Take for example the role of women in food production. Over the weekend, The New Vision newspaper, Uganda, highlighted a story noting that women's lack of control, acquisition and ownership of land has incapacitated their ability to increase production in the agricultural sector.

Maize - Zambia's most favoured crop - is under attack from alien armyworms. The pest has already invaded more than 10 percent of farms in the country. The army worms are caterpillars that "march" across the landscape in large groups feasting on young plants, leaving devastation in their wake.

In Zambia, maize is the primary staple crop, and over 90 percent of smallholders rely on it for food security and income. As with other countries in the region, maize dominates production.

One of the most celebrated United Nations events, the World Food Day was marked on the 16th of October this year. Even as we celebrated World Food Day to promote awareness and action against hunger, malnutrition and poverty; 1.5 million Kenyans are still starving.