By Bob Aston
"Climate is changing, food and agriculture must too," is the theme of 2016 World Food Day. Msumarini in Kilifi County is today hosting this year’s celebration, which is usually marked on October 16.
This year’s theme looks at how agriculture and food systems need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive, and sustainable.
The day also focuses on raising awareness about the actions people around the world can take to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
|Farmers being trained on Conservation Agriculture|
Sokopepe Partnerships and Linkages officer Ms. Judith Nkatha noted that strengthening resilience of smallholder farmers through conservation agriculture could play a transformative role in addressing the impacts of climate change.
"We are helping to enhance food security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and reverse the effects of soil degradation caused by mechanical tillage in Meru County,” said Ms. Nkatha.
She said that the pace and severity of climate change risks overwhelming smallholder farmers hence the social enterprise is helping farmers adopt conservation agriculture as a way of combining profitable agricultural production with environmental concerns and sustainability.
Growing food in a sustainable way means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and wise use of natural resources.
It also means reducing food losses before the final product or retail stage through better harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure, market mechanisms, as well as institutional and legal frameworks.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), higher temperatures and increase in weather related disasters are affecting the worlds poorest more than others.
FAO estimates that agricultural production must rise by about 60 percent by 2050 to feed a larger population.
Ms. Nkatha said that Sokopepe is training farmers on best agricultural practices to enable them produce more with less as well as reduce post-harvest losses.
The United Nations (UN) General Assembly declared 16th October as World Food Day to honor the date of the founding of FAO in 1945.
The day aims to heighten public awareness of world food security and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition, and poverty.