Wednesday, October 26, 2011

“CLIMATE SMART” AGRICULTURE INITIATIVES WILL SAVE AFRICA



Is Africa not fulfilling her Agricultural Potential? Will Africa ever be food secure? What role can the youth play in the agricultural value chain? And what’s this CLIMATE CHANGE ALL ABOUT? 
The questions are endless yet there seem to be no answers to them.

When the CLIMATE changes, does that mean anything to you? Does it affect food production, security and yields? I think it’s high time AFICAN adapted to Climate change.

At the recent Food Agriculture and Natural resources policy analysis Network (FARNPAN) annual conference that I attended in Swaziland , Dr Sepo Hachigonta the FANRPAN climate Change Coordinator said that, Climate change possess a real risk to the future of farming and food security in Africa, thus all stakeholders including policy makers, researchers, scientists and farmers should engage to find solutions.
Climate change impacts are much localised and hence some areas are more vulnerable than others. Therefore African Governments need to spearhead initiatives of climate proofing Agriculture with all partners involved in climate change adaptation strategies. The capacity of policy analysts, scientists and Journalists must be enhanced in the fields of Agriculture, Climate and socio-economics to collectively build a strong base of evidence on cropping systems to inform adaptation policies and investment decisions. It’s also important to build the capacity of young researchers on climate issues and on how the environment interacts with social, human and economic sectors.

“A key strategy of managing risk and vulnerability associated with Climate change is developing and implementing evidence based policies and programs that respond to local realities and priorities”

For a country like Uganda who’s economy is dominated by the agricultural sector, which accounts for 41.6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 85% of the export earnings and 80% of employment opportunities with the youngest population yet highest youth unemployment in the world,  (World Bank report on Africa Development Indicators (ADI) 2008/2009. Fifty six (56%).This is an indicator that in order to achieve meaningful development programms and projects, there is need to involve the youth and have the programs youth oriented. Is there any role that the youth in Uganda are playing to achieve climate smart agriculture and initiatives that will assist farmers to climate proof agriculture? 

This is what bloggers and Journos ought to understand about reporting on climate change. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

FOOD!! ARE THE YOUTH RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS SECURITY?



It's BLOG ACTION DAY once again and this year's theme is FOOD. Sharing my thoughts with you all

Since late August 2011, I have been travelling from one country to another attending a number of conference. I just realised that in one way or another, the issue of FOOD featured so much in all the three conferences.

While some people in some parts of the world are fighting obesity, others in another part of the world are starving to death because they have no access to food.

The first of these series of conferences I went for was the One Young World summit2011 that took place in Zurich Switzerland from 1st to 4th September. With a scholarship from MTN, I was amazed at the number of young people who had convened to talk about issues that are currently affecting the world. One of them was HEALTH.  The keynote speaker for the health panel was TED prize winner Jamie Oliver of FoodRevolution who spoke about global Obesity.
Some of my tweets during the session on health and food with the hash tag (#fixhealth) were: 


·         "You and I need to educate each other about the food that we eat"
·         "We need to act against wasting food"
·         "We need to respect the fact that we have food and other don`t"
·         "We all have passion for food, Yes, but do we have respect for farmers"
·         "We need to change our lifestyle and change our eating habits too"
·       "As we fight hunger and starvation in Africa, we should also sort out the issue of obesity in   the US and Europe".
·         "Food is a basic need and a human right"
·         "The general children are borne in a junk food culture"
·         "Food Security is not necessarily about improving production but increasing access to food".

 

The Second was the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Annual High Level Regional Food Security Multi-Stakeholder Policy Dialogue 2011 which was held from 19th to 23rd September 2011 in Mbabane (Swaziland). The theme of this year's annual regional dialogue was "Advocating for the active engagement of the youth in the agriculture value chain".  Top on the agenda was the issue of how youth can be engaged in achieving food security on the African continent. From the discussions, it was evident that few youth engage in Agriculture and yet the continent`s largest population is that of the young people.  Her Majesty, Queen Mother Ntombi, Indlovukazi of Swaziland received the food security policy leadership award for her role in great role in Agricultural initiatives in Swaziland including one on the Marula fruit seed. Read more http://nawsheenh.blogspot.com/2011/09/fanrpan-annual-high-level-regional-food.html The question that remained on everyone`s mind was how we can make agriculture `Sexy` and profitable to the youth.

The final conference was the second Global Knowledge share Fair http://www.sharefair.net/share-fair-11-rome/about-the-fair/en/
As the world mourned world icons like Nobel prize winner Wangari and  Apple`s Steve Jobs how many thought of the thousand dying of starvation just  because they cannot afford a meal?
And who thinks that youth have a great role to play for the world and most especially Africa to achieve food security?