Ever since I was a kid, the words we ‘want to feed the world’ are very much familiar to my ears and yet, current statistics show that over 800 Million people go hungry each year, Africa being one of the most affected at the same time being considered as the continent with the potential of not only feeding itself but also contributing to feeding the world.
I happen to have been brought up in a rural setting and I remember in my earlier years of schooling, going to the farm was more of a pleasure for me. My grandmother could give me a piece of land and challenge me to grow my own crops after which she could inform me that the entire family could depend on my harvest that season. And so at the back of my mind, it was my responsibility to feed them (bear in mind I was very young). So every day after school, No matter how tired I was, I would ensure that my farm was in good condition before I went to bed. I made it my responsibility to make sure we had food, rather than thinking someone could get food for me and the family.
When I moved to the urban setting for my secondary school education, the scenario was completely different. Here, a jembe on your hand was a punishment, a terrible punishment for that matter. You were considered a ‘M-shamba’ if you knew how to hold a jembe well than others and what followed after that was mockery all through and if you happened to have low self-esteem, that was you right there done with farming! This made me think, where did these guys expect their food to come from? Did we really stop caring and made it a responsibility for someone else to actually care on the kind of food you should eat? Or we are just too busy to care what we put into the only vehicle we have to carry us around in this journey on earth, our body?
“Are we just too busy to care what we put into the only vehicle we have to carry us around in this journey on earth, our body?” ~The Organic Guy
For many years, we have been told that the industrial agricultural model is the one that is going to feed the world. Well, we all know it hasn’t and it’s time we busted the lie! The mentality that big is better while undermining the power of collectivism is uncalled for. For that matter, small family farms are the ones that produce ¾ of the world’s food! Large farms aren’t more efficient, while it’s true that mechanization can provide a Labour cost efficiencies on large farms, these farms don’t necessarily produce more food. Small diversified farms produce more than twice as much food per acre. While these large farms excel at producing a lot of a particular crop like maize, small but diversified farms produce more and different kinds of food per hectare overall, something that we need if we are going to talk food security for all.
Is this the way forward? Do we continue to produce unhealthy foods, making people sicker for the name of feeding the world? the industrial model is based on monocultures (which leads to poor nutrition and adaptability to climate change), a wide spread use of agrochemicals (pests and weeds becomes resistant overtime meaning farmers have to use more and different chemicals, Livestock’s will become sicker as you have to use more drugs and the soils loose natural fertility so you have to use more chemical fertilisers) and even now the commercialization of GMO seeds which has a high threat to social, environmental and health cost. In fact if I get ignored and this system continues to be rolled out, the in trouble we will be.
This model will require more fossil fuel than ever as we go forward (hence continued pollution, putting in mind its already contributing up to 40% of the total GHG Emissions), more water and more mined minerals, things that will get more and more expensive since they are running out. So down this path, a disaster is inevitable. It will become more expensive for the farmers and eventually we will all feel the heat through continued rise in food prices.Farmers who have successfully been sold this model have shown much dependency on the system, poor payoff by the government and private sector when the produce is ready, thus incurring massive losses and even these farmers going bankrupt in the name of trying to produce more food through the losses they make each season.
“Down this path, a disaster is inevitable. It will become more expensive for the farmers and eventually we will all feel the heat through continued rise in food prices.” ~The Organic Guy
Clearly this system is working but only for the co-operation backed by the government, the co-operations that manufacture these pesticides and herbicides, to those manufacturing synthetic fertilizers and now GMO’s. This model has seen farmers stopping practices that keep the soils healthy, livestock that used to be raised on the farm, now are getting raised in the shortest period possible in polluted factories.
I think by now we all know that the problem is not production, but distribution, poverty and food quality. We currently have available about 2800 calories a day for each and every one of us, that’s more than what anyone of us could ever need. It’s time we say NO to the myths we are told especially that by 2050, we will have to double our production in order to feed our ever growing population; and for that, we will need advanced pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers, genetic engineering, heavy mechanization for us to feed the world. Too bad that we now know the truth, that this model is fully backed by the co-operations that sell this fertilisers and pesticides, after which they go to bed with the government which then fronts it to its people.
It’s time that the government through its ministry came out and spoke the truth, that the industrial agriculture model is NOT sustainable, has destroyed our biodiversity and soil nutrients, has contributed significantly to climate change and cannot solve the systemic hunger we face regularly. It’s time the government came out strongly and supported sustainable agro ecological organic farming, the system that ends the unnatural chemical addiction uses, uses better practices not the ever expensive purchases, builds the health of the soil by planting a variety of crops and rotating them, they raise healthier animals in open farms not in crammed factories, facilitates using compost and livestock manure which are easily available and nourishing to the soils.
With this, the effects are phenomenal. Healthier people means people will work better and happier thus sustainable economic growth. Its time you the government cared too! It’s not fair for you the top executives to consume good quality and nourishing organic foods and leaving the heavily toxicated foods to your people.
“The agricultural industrial model degrades soil health and humanity’s ability to continue feeding everyone over the long run.” ~The Organic Guy
Since we now know that majority of our food comes from the small holder farmers, it’s time we supported them with the correct information about agriculture, information like it’s okay to farm without huge tracks on your backyard, without applying the highly toxic pesticides and herbicides and encourage them to continue producing safe and nutritious foods, foods that meet their dietary needs even better produce food sustainably without jeopardizing the future generations of producing their own foods.
It’s important to know that when farmers are sovereign right from seeds, agricultural inputs and trade dependency, they start building resilience by using the easily local resources, then agricultural systems becomes ecologically, socially and economically sustainable. The agricultural industrial model degrades soil health and humanity’s ability to continue feeding everyone over the long run. Adopting farming practices that build soil health is key to stable and resilient agriculture! this way, i can confortably say; WE WILL FEED THE WORLD!
Signed with love ❤️
Always #BeOrganic 💯