National Ag Day in the United States is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture. It falls on March 23 during the National Ag Week and is hosted by the Agriculture Council of America.
In 2019, a five-year multi-stakeholder project was launched in three African countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Senegal - to bring together Canadian and international experts to work directly with 80,000 smallholder farmers, engaging both women and men, to share customized tools and best management practices under the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program. The 4R’s of nutrient stewardship mean applying the Right Source of fertilizer using the Right Rate at the Right Time of year and in the Right Place. On March 4, 2021, a virtual event was organised to discuss the economic, environmental and social benefits of proper nutrient stewardship, with a focus on the benefits for women farmers.
International Women's Day, which is slated for March 8, is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. In the world of agriculture, women often play an important role in the production of food crops, especially in developing countries. But that's not all. When you look at the whole food value chain in developing countries, you will often find that for primary processing, and also distribution, women are key players. Around the world, women are on the front line of the food service and preparation sectors. This goes to show that more attention needs to be given to women in agriculture for a successful and thriving industry globally.
Obesity is a disease. According to the World Health Organisation, obesity is ‘abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health’. It can be measured in a number of ways, but the most common is ‘BMI’ (Body Mass Index), using your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. Additional measurements, such as your waist to height ratio can also be used.
Every year, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) meets in October to discuss issues pertaining to food security. This year, due to the global pandemic, the conference was held virtually from the 8th -11th February 2021, among other items, to endorse the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition. The theme for CFS 47 was “Making A Difference in Food Security and Nutrition”. The plenary provided a unique worldwide platform where food security and nutrition stakeholders from all over the world agreed on policy guidance, reviewed global progress, networked, and shared experiences.
In an ongoing effort to step-up the fight against malaria, pan-African movement Zero Malaria Starts With Me recently unveiled a new campaign: Draw The Line Against Malaria. The campaign, whose official launch took place on February 24th, is focused on engaging youth, calling on young people across Africa and all over the world to unite to fight malaria. By driving more action, more innovation, more funding and more leadership the movement aims to mobilise communities to fight this deadly disease and achieve #ZeroMalaria within a generation.
As food is fuel to the body, agriculture is the fuel of every nation and Canada is no different. Food, and as a result, agriculture, is key to every nation’s development. Any nation struggling to provide food to all its citizens in sufficient amounts also battles with lower productivity, a poorer economy, and various health challenges. This explains why the sector is of great importance.
The United Nations Environment Assembly is going virtual over 2 days from February 22 - 23, 2021 in order to cater to administrative and budgetary issues. This first part of the event will be called UNEA 5.I. Substantive matters that require in-depth negotiations will be deferred to a resumed in-person session in February 2022: UNEA 5.2.
Eat your greens! You’ve probably heard this phrase throughout your childhood. Of course, this phrase was used to refer to vegetables of all kinds and not just the green ones. There is another healthy food staple that needs even more praise and encouragement: pulses.
As we have begun this New Year, we have the opportunity to shape a food system that’s even better than before.
During the past year, we have heard some great leaders – young and old – in Africa talk about their common themes on the vision of a new African food system. I think these are themes which could strengthen any food system.