Everyone Should Own A Farm: Navigating Sustainable Food Systems
Food running out is a concept that you only envision in the context of a wedding or a party with a buffet, but food running out for the entire world is nothing short of perplexing. Despite this, that is precisely what food insecurity entails.
In our world of about 8 billion people, the earth is struggling to keep up with feeding us all. Think about all the empty shelves and the unequal supply-demand equations during the pandemic and imagine we had to deal with that forever. This is a visual of the severity of food insecurity.
The World Bank defines food security as when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
Food security has four dimensions: physical availability of food, economic and physical access to food, food utilisation and stability of the other three dimensions over time. For the concept of food security to be utilised, all four dimensions have to be at play simultaneously.
The truth is we cannot get from food insecurity to food security without playing an active role and the steps we take must be sustainable and have the ability to actively push back the effects of food insecurity. This brings us to the concept of sustainable food systems (SFS).
A sustainable food system is one that delivers food security and nutrition for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases to generate food security and nutrition for future generations are not compromised. Access to safe and nutritious food is a basic human right and if sustainable food systems had been considered by earlier generations, we would be in a better place today.
An integral part of a sustainable food system is agriculture. Therefore, a sustainable food system should be climate-smart and also increase agricultural productivity, enhance climate resilience, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) provides that on the economic dimension, a food system is sustainable if the activities carried out by each food system actor are commercially or fiscally viable. That is, there should be benefits for all stakeholders from wages for workers, taxes for governments, profits for enterprises, and food supply improvements for consumers.
Hence, why everyone should own a farm.
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean owning acres of sprawling farmland. It means that everyone should be interested in and invest in the promotion of agriculture.
In the framework of sustainable food systems, agriculture fits in perfectly and houses the necessary benefits. While, economically, it can provide jobs, ensure return on investments and provide wholesome and nutritious foods for everyone.
Regardless of the numerous benefits that agriculture holds in navigating through a sustainable food system, it can only be truly successful if other important factors are utilised. Agriculture itself must be approached in the right way i.e., usage of agriculture-smart practices. Other factors include zero food waste, 100 percent access to food and increasing smallholder farmers’ income.
Food is such a strong connecting point in our society. It is a symbol of culture, celebration and even love. Food means more than we realise. But above all, food represents a healthy and flourishing society and that is why it is a focal point of SDGs 1, 2 & 3.
Attaining food security is a job for us all, we just have to be willing to play our part, and own a farm.
Take proactive steps to reduce food waste within your household
Educate yourself on best recycling practices to conserve resources
Donate to initiatives that fight against famine
Invest in climate-smart agriculture and small holder farmers
Buy from sustainable food brands
What is a food sustainble
WRITTEN BY Favour Ogbadu.
Favour Ogbadu is a certified lawyer and an aspiring International development practitioner. An avid reader, her passion for writing stems from her love of written works. She is a firm believer in using talents and skills for the greater good. Connect with Favour on LinkedIn.
EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, international development professional, and lawyer passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities.
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