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The month of August 2023 has manifested itself and is about to be consigned to the abyss of history. Increasingly, many people are waking up to the reality of the interconnectedness and the centrality of the current food system’s contribution to the four key crises of the 21st century, namely;

  • The climate change crisis, increasingly a ‘climate emergency’
  • The increasing loss of biodiversity and soil degradation with reduced yield and productivity
  • The deepening food insecurity directly linked to increasing poverty
  • The increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), including the diabetes and cancer epidermics

To do justice to the aforementioned four crises of the 21st century, one would need separate articles to provide an overview of each crisis and how these crises are linked. As an introduction to the manifestation of the ‘problem’ and the centrality of the current food system, which urgently needs fixing, here below a couple of articles that elaborate on and provide evidence based indictment on the current food system. This food system is largely owned by multinationals and corporate monopolies. These monopolies are not farmer owned and yet, they control key food production inputs which include fertilizers and seeds which ideally should be owned or part controlled by farmers or farmer owned entities.

Additionally, the same monopolies control food production and the entire value chain of the current food system. Find below a couple of related articles, with embedded evidence, demonstrating why and how the current food system is ‘poisonous’.

Now that evidence of the poisonous and toxic nature of the current food system is apparent, supported by more research evidence linking the broken food system to the emergence of climate instability, increasing food insecurity(hunger), loss of biodiversity and soil degradation, increasing poverty and the rising burden of NCDs with the accompanying negative socio-economic impacts.

  • Do we have evidence that the food system is broken and has failed? YES
  • Do we have proven alternative sustainable food systems that address and mitigate the quadruple crises, as outlined in this article? YES

Subsequent articles will focus on outlining and highlighting science backed solutions to the current broken food system that are a key contributor to the quadruple crises.

Stay tuned…till next.

The month of July is about gone but not without of a couple of milestone events: The transitioning of a great matriarch, the mother of the author of this blog, was the one event and the execution of the week-long healthy foods campaign, ‘My Food is African’ by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) was the other event.

  • This blogpost is rather unique in the sense that it doesn’t feature a particular agroecological issue but rather provides a summary of two milestone events; while these two events appear unrelated on surface glance, a deeper look reveals that the transitioning of a matriarch and a call to reconnect with ‘My Food is African’ are indeed related and intertwined.
  • Why? Among other reasons, because this matriarch, of legendary proportions, typified the African grandmother whose knowledge, belief and practice of all things ‘My Food is African’ was not only exemplary but informed the quest and passion of the blogpost author to pursue what has turned out to be a lifelong mission to promote and advocate for the cultivation, value adding, preparation and consumption of nutrient rich and ecosystem friendly foods that resonate with ‘My Food is African’ philosophy and practice.
  • The blog author, despite the difficult period, found time to post a comment during the ‘My Food is African’ Food Campaign. The  food campaign emphasises the urgent need to transition from the current industrial food systems to the more sustainable agroecological farming, food production and related food systems and outcomes; These positive outcomes range from healthy soils and healthy diets to a more sustainable socio-economic environment, free from climate change and other crises, like the increasing burden of non-communicalbe diseases(NCDs) due to the current unhealthy diets. Find the comment here on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Afsafrica/status/1684213030442106880

Thank you.

The month of April, 2023 is just about gone but not without a landmark achievement: The finalization and launch of a much awaited Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture(NSA) Training Manual and the accompanying Facilitators Manual; A first in Kenya and Eastern Africa.

  • Here below, find a quoted summary of this landmark publication of which the author of this blog article was a co-author:

Agriculture and food systems influence people’s dietary patterns, have an impact on nutritional outcomes, and are critical for the development of the Kenya economy (as indeed other African economies). Sustainable agriculture and food systems have a key role in improving food security and nutrition, while promoting food safety and healthy diets. However, one of the barriers to delivering healthy diets, through agriculture and food systems, is the capacity gaps amongst actors on designing and implementing programmes with well integrated nutrition objectives. Additionally, there are inadequate technical resources at national level to guide agri-food systems actors on entry points for strengthening nutrition(and Healthy Diets) programming. Over the past two years, FAO has been working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development(MoALD), the Ministry of Health (MoH) and partners under the Food and Nutrition Linkages Technical Working Group(FNLTWG) to bridge this gap by developing a National Training Package on Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems.’

  • These two documents can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JXe6BHMCzlcMK8hVikUVGjnWHNMYNKUW
  • This milestone publication was launched during the National Nutrition Symposium held on the 13th, at the Safari Park Hotel, with representatives of all the key stakeholders, including Organic Consumers Alliance(OCA). See OCA logo for key partners, at the end of the documents. It is hoped that these downloadable tools will contribute to the journey towards healthy diets by ensuring that the FAO and respective government agencies approved content package for all ‘nutrition trainings’ to ensure standardization of trainings and deliverables, including use of a set of standard nutrition indicators for measurement of outputs and outcomes (refer to relevant sections of the manuals.) The author of this article made significant contributions towards the development of the monitoring and evaluation modules for both the Facilitators Manual and the Technical Manual.

Going forward these Manuals add to the other recently authored and published books. https://organicconsumersalliance.org/our-blog/185-recent-publications-events-and-celebrations-of-transition-to-agroecology-for-people-planet-and-profits.html that will serve as useful tools for awareness creation and training on healthy diets.

  • The nutritional packaging addresses the Why? What? Who? How? and How to measure and monitor agroecological food programmes and ensuing healthy diets.
  • Enjoy the reading and don’t hesitate to provide feedback. Thank you.

The month of June is here and just about gone…and life goes on or does it?

Yes, it does and with it, every day, every week, every month and every year, more and more toxic herbicides and pesticides continue being dumped into our soils and atmosphere in the name of growing food. This is in addition to increasing use of synthetic fertilizers ostensibly to increase yield and productivity. Published evidence is that this artificial method of increasing yield is counterproductive as it destroys soil health and in the long run results in the ‘death’ of soils and the life sustaining microbial life within the soil.

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Organic Consumers Alliance (OCA) focuses on promoting and creating awareness on the health benefits of consuming organic foods.

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