Broader perspective for tackling poor nutrition, poverty and climate change

14 January, 2011 by (comments)

The State of the World 2011 report, published yesterday by the Worldwatch Institute, calls for more efficient ways to tackle poor nutrition, poverty and climate change – and it gives 15 examples of what it describes as “proven, environmentally sustainable prescriptions.”

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In an announcement on the organisation’s website, Danielle Nierenberg, co-director of its Nourishing the Planet project said: “The solutions won’t necessarily come from producing more food, but from changing what children eat in schools, how foods are processed and marketed, and what sorts of food businesses we are investing in.”

Here are a couple of examples of effective interventions listed in the announcement:

In Kibera, Nairobi, the largest slum in Kenya, more than 1,000 women farmers are growing “vertical” gardens in sacks full of dirt poked with holes, feeding their families and communities. These sacks have the potential to feed thousands of city dwellers while also providing a sustainable and easy-to-maintain source of income for urban farmers. With more than 60 percent of Africa’s population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, such methods may be crucial to creating future food security. Currently, some 33 percent of Africans live in cities, and 14 million more migrate to urban areas each year. Worldwide, some 800 million people engage in urban agriculture, producing 15–20 percent of all food.

Uganda’s Developing Innovations in School Cultivation (DISC) program is integrating indigenous vegetable gardens, nutrition information, and food preparation into school curriculums to teach children how to grow local crop varieties that will help combat food shortages and revitalize the country’s culinary traditions. An estimated 33 percent of African children currently face hunger and malnutrition, which could affect some 42 million children by 2025. School nutrition programs that don’t simply feed children, but also inspire and teach them to become the farmers of the future, are a huge step toward improving food security.

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Filed Under: Climate Change