“Sustainable agrifood systems ensure food security and nutrition”
Every year, World Food Day is celebrated on October 16, which is famous around the world for the efforts to fight hunger in the world.
In 2019, the theme was “Zero Hunger”, with the aim of making sustainable and healthy diets affordable and accessible to all.
But so far, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) says more than 3 billion people, or nearly 40 percent of the world’s population, cannot afford food. healthy.
Eating healthy isn’t about strictly limiting things, unrealistically staying slim, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling good, having more energy, improving your health and improving your mood.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy diet helps protect against malnutrition in all its forms, as well as against noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. . This means that a healthy diet is essential for good health and good nutrition.
Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugars, and saturated, industrially produced trans fats is also essential for a healthy diet.
What agrifood system do we need to look at?
An agrifood system is a complex term that may seem far from the truth, but did you know that our lives depend on it?
Every time we eat, we participate in the system. The foods we choose and the way we produce, prepare, cook and store them make us an integral and active part of the functioning of an agrifood system.
A sustainable agrifood system is a system in which a variety of sufficient, nutritious and safe foods are available at an affordable price for everyone, and no one is hungry or suffers from any form of malnutrition.
Shelves are supplied at the local market or grocery store, but less food is wasted and the food supply chain is more resilient to shocks such as extreme weather conditions, price spikes or pandemics, while limiting , rather than aggravating, environmental degradation or climate change.
In fact, sustainable agrifood systems ensure food and nutrition security for all, without compromising the economic, social and environmental foundations, for generations to come. They lead to better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life for all.
According to the FAO, agrifood systems employ one billion people worldwide, more than any other economic sector.
In addition, the way we produce, consume and, sadly, waste food takes a heavy toll on our planet, putting unnecessary strain on natural resources, the environment and the climate.
Food production too often degrades or destroys natural habitats and contributes to the extinction of species. Such inefficiency costs us billions of dollars, but more importantly, today’s agrifood systems expose deep inequalities and injustices in our global society.
Three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet, while overweight and obesity continues to rise around the world.
To offer healthy food to Africans, the African Organic Network (AfrONet), an umbrella organization of continental organic farming, is implementing a project namely Institutional innovations for organic farming in Africa (IIABA project)
The IIABA project is funded by the French Development Agency (AFD) and coordinated by the international non-governmental organization (I-NGO) based in Africa, the African Biological Network (AfrONet) headquartered in Dar-Es-Salaam , Tanzania.
The project aims to catalyze a scaling up of organic agriculture in Uganda, Morocco and Tanzania and, in so doing, facilitate its development more generally in Africa.
Launched on February 28 for a period of three and a half years, the IIABA project aims to support the development of organic agriculture across the continent.
The project is coordinated by the African Biological Network (AfrONet) and project partners, in particular the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development (CIRAD), the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Agriculture. environment (INRAE), the Movement for Organic Agriculture of Tanzania (TOAM), National Movement of Organic Agriculture of Uganda (NOGAMU), Moroccan Interprofessional Federation of the Organic Sector (FIMABIO) and Network of Agroecological Initiatives in Morocco ( RIAM).
CIRAD and INRAE work in close collaboration to facilitate the emergence of institutional innovations for the organic sector through the IIABA project and then deploy AfrONet to domesticate all these innovations among its members across the continent. In the meantime, various activities are in place in these three countries of Morocco, Uganda and Tanzania.
The premise is that to encourage organic farming, it is not enough to increase organic agricultural production. It is rather a question of developing the appropriate institutions, whether in terms of markets, certification of the “organic” quality of products, or public policies.
Thus, from 2020 to 2023, CIRAD, INRAE, TOAM, NOGAMU and RIAM under the supervision of AfrONet will endeavor to identify institutional innovations in these three areas and to promote them at national and continental levels.
Organic farming is widely seen as a much more sustainable alternative to food production. The lack of pesticides and a greater variety of plants improves biodiversity and results in better soil quality and reduced pollution from runoff from fertilizers or pesticides.
Organic foods often contain more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants, than their conventionally grown counterparts and people with allergies to foods, chemicals or preservatives may see their symptoms improve or disappear when they eat only organic food.
Therefore, African governments must both revise old policies and adopt new ones that promote the sustainable production of affordable nutritious food and encourage farmer participation.
The African Union Decision on Green Organic Farming Initiatives (EOA) EX.CL/Dec.621 (XVII) opens a new path for African countries to put more emphasis on organic farming today than ‘it was not twenty years ago.
The UN Secretary-General convened the first-ever Food Systems Summit in September 2021 to forge consensus on bold new actions to transform the way the world produces and consumes food, with the aim of getting back on track. good way to achieve the objectives of sustainable development where organic agriculture enters directly or indirectly in seven of them.