Global Food Security Symposium 2018

The Founder of shiri, Tatenda, was honored to be selected as a Next Generation Delegate for Global Food Security.

The mission of the symposium was to discuss the most pressing issue: By 2050, Africa’s population will double, with 1 billion projected to be under 18 years old, and many others regions are experiencing similar trends. How can we harness the potential of this promising demographic to secure economic growth and stability? 

Advancing agriculture and its employment paths is imperative. Both for the future of youth livelihoods & for #globalag. Check out the new @ChicagoCouncil report: http://bit.ly/2u9WJGJ  

 

 

 Next Generation Delegation for Global Food Security.

Next Generation Delegation for Global Food Security.

The first 1,000 days

Have you heard of the first 1,000 days?

Good nutrition during the 1,000-day period between the start of a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday is critical to the future health, wellbeing and success of her child. In essence, a child’s future can be determined years before they even reach their fifth birthday. Millions of children globally do not have the opportunity to reach their full potential due to irreversible damage to bodies and minds during the time when both are developing, the physical and mental effects of poor nutrition in the earliest months of life. Undernutrition is an underlying killer of children due to poor nutrition which weakens immune systems. 

For mothers malnutrition means less strength and energy for the vitally important activities of daily life. It also means increased risk of death or giving birth to a pre-term, underweight or malnourished infant. As we work towards ending hunger, food deserts through improving the agricultural sector, let us not forget pregnant mothers and new born babies. Children and nations futures are determined by the quality of nutrition in the first 1,000 days

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From Microscopic to Macroscopic

Excuse me…Hello, have you got a minute to solve a problem in your community?

Making a difference to the world may seem like an enormous task, but it is in fact the collective effort of everyone to make small contributions that eradicates large problems. Little efforts count, and you can start making small contributions to problems in your society today.

The behavior of macroscopic systems is always related to the behavior of their microscopic constituents. Every one of us in this world can contribute and make a difference to the world in our own unique way. It need not be anything out of the world, it just needs to be something you do with the intention for the betterment of society. Often people ponder, "I am just one person, and a small person at that complex problem, what can I do?" Each person can take small steps: microscopic actions, towards making a dent in a problem. Sometimes those steps don’t even seem like they’re taking you in the right direction, but keep moving seizing every opportunity to eradicate the problem. Often times those steps eventually help in the making of a significant solution for the problem. Every step takes a person further. Opportunities to solve problems are all around us - but there is a gap between knowledge and action. I urge everyone reading this to start doing whatever is within their ability to solve todays problems. Every effort counts, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. It is our collective effort to problem solving that makes this world a better place.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” – Mother Teresa.

Hidden hunger, micronutrient deficiencies

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The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication. In Africa, there is need for increased awareness towards malnutrition and community-based nutrition promotion for small-holder farmers. Vegetable production is the most sustainable and affordable way of alleviating micronutrient deficiencies among the vulnerable. Vitamin A, iron, and iodine are not found in staple crops, but rather, in vegetables. In addition to the essential macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins), vitamins and minerals – also known as micronutrients – contribute to good health and are necessary for growth and development. Micronutrient deficiencies cause significant health complications, deficiency-related disorders, and increase the risk of mortality and burden of disease. Unlike energy-protein undernourishment, the health impacts of micronutrient deficiency are not always acutely visible; hence the term ‘hidden hunger’. There is need to promote the cultivation of foods that contain micronutrients.

Nutrition and Disability

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Today is 3 December, International Day of Persons with Disabilities. 

The ability to access food is essential to life and health. With regards to food access, people with disabilities are still among the most marginalized and incur extra costs to get produce. With regards to agriculture, they are less likely to participate in agriculture due to physical limitations thereby making their food access difficult. Access to sufficient nutritious food is often an issue of concern to families having a member with disabilities because of poverty and unequal distribution of resources within the household. Access to nutritious food for women with disabilities and their children is consistently overlooked in both the nutrition and disability sectors, placing those women and children at increased risk of malnutrition. Collaboration between agriculture and disability agendas is critical to tackling malnutrition and food access. As we celebrate today's International Day of Persons with Disabilities, let us not forget their nutrition and food access.

 

Agriculture and agribusiness

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Africa has a huge potential in agriculture, which is still mainly untapped. This makes agriculture and agribusiness at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is need to see an urgency to feed the region’s fast-growing population. Not only is this urgency about feeding people, today most of the youth in Africa is unemployed yet agriculture has the potential to provide employment to this rapidly growing youth population. Food insecurity does not only affect people's health, it poses significant challenges to peace, security, and economic opportunity. In many countries, most crops are produced by small-sized farms with limited mechanization and capacity, leading to poor yields. Shiri is here address farm-level production and activities such as processing and marketing, by providing a platform for small holder farmers to plan, communicate and market their produce. We hope to improve the agribusiness sphere and we understand that no one company, or stakeholder group, can achieve this alone. Partner with Shiri. Together let us reinvigorate agriculture.

Food processing

 Drying mango facility

Drying mango facility

Food processing is a weighty part of the formula to ensure a food secure continent. Although food production remains a sizable challenge for the African continent, post-harvest losses and waste are the biggest threats to food security. A significant proportion of harvests from farmers in Africa never make it to the final consumer. If more high quality, nutritious and safe food could be processed, food waste will reduce, food supplies would be more stable and less seasonal, and food prices would be less prone to wild fluctuations. This would increase the incomes of local farmers, create formal jobs, and increase the availability of affordable, safe, and nutritious food for the region’s consumers.