twitter RSS Feed linkedin acp contact

FAO: Indigenous foods to alleviate nutrition crisis in Southern Africa

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the New Partnership for Africa's Development of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), organised a three-day sub-regional consultative dialogue

24julyThe problem of obesity is alarming and it is cross cutting in all countries, especially in urban areas. (Image source: poco_bw/Adobe Stock)

The problem of obesity is alarming and it is cross-cutting in all countries, especially in urban areas due to the changes in the food system.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is not an exception and it is facing the triple burden of malnutrition and poverty, which often co-exist with urbanisation, associated with a significant shift in dietary habits. This includes the neglect of indigenous foods and consumption of processed and empty calorie foods.

Under the theme, “Addressing overweight and obesity the indigenous way,” the dialogue provided a platform for experts from Southern African countries to exchange ideas and formulate strategies for inter-country collaboration on the twin subjects of obesity and indigenous food.

Call to action

Africa is home to a wide variety of indigenous crops including pulses, nuts, cereals, fruits and vegetables, which contain essential nutrients that contribute to healthy and productive lives. Not only are they nutritious but also drought tolerant and pest- and disease resistant than their exotic counterparts.

However, despite their potential role in enhancing the quality of diets and meeting nutrient requirements for urban and peri-urban areas with high malnutrition rates, consumption of indigenous food has declined. This is due to the low availability in modern commercialised and industrialised markets and lack of investment in research and advocacy to support their market penetration and food security policies.

In the effort to promote indigenous food as a critical contributor to a nutritious diet, FAO stressed that everyone has an important role to play. The three-day dialogue formed part of FAO’s multi-sectoral approaches to eliminating malnutrition in all its forms on the continent as enshrined in the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) decade of action.

FAO said that it will continue to advocate governments on policymaking by adding issues pertaining to overweight and obesity and have a follow-up workshop in 2020 for issues discussed in the course of the dialogue. There will be awareness-raising activities as well as creating traditional food composition data tables for consumers.

FAO and AUDA-NEPAD are closely collaborating and creating regional forums of learning and experience sharing for the development of Sustainable Food and Agriculture (SFA) in Africa. Through improving awareness and mechanisms to better integrate SFA and mobilise resources for agricultural investment plans, FAO supports to strengthen the mainstreaming of SFA to achieve the SDGs in the context of Malabo Declaration.


LATEST NEWS IN Agriculture

West Africa is all prepped up for desertification COP15

West Africa is all prepped up for desert…

West African representatives from the ministries of planning and finance, environment, and other stakeholders had gathered in Abidjan on 5-6 May 2022 for a capacity-building workshop on addressing land degradation...

FAO and the WFF set up Young Scientists Group

FAO and the WFF set up Young Scientists …

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Forum (WFF) have launched the WFF’s first-ever cohort of the Young Scientists Group

Four agri-tech centres come together to boost innovation in global sustainable farming

Four agri-tech centres come together to …

Four UK agri-tech centres – CHAP, CIEL, Agri-EPI and Agrimetrics – have formed a sustainable farming partnership with world leading agricultural research and training organisation, Wageningen University & Research (WUR)...

Africa must prepare for a global food crisis, says AfDB president

Africa must prepare for a global food cr…

African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President Dr Akinwumi Adesina has said that Africa must prepare for the inevitability of a global food crisis

US and Mozambique governments come together to preserve forests and water

US and Mozambique governments come toget…

On Earth Day 2022, the US Government reaffirmed its support for conservation law enforcement and sustainable forest management in the Niassa Special Reserve (NSR), Mozambique’s largest protected area

TROPICSAFE achieves significant results in managing lethal diseases in palms, grapevine and citrus

TROPICSAFE achieves significant results …

The TROPICSAFE project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and coordinated by Professor Assunta Bertaccini, University of Bologna, Italy, studied three economically important insect-borne prokaryote-associated...

Prev Next

OTHER RELATED ARTICLES - Agriculture

Global experts release guideline on FAW management

Global experts release guideline on FAW …

The international experts have produced a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) guide to combat and tackle the spread of voracious fall armyworm (FAW) across the African continent

Africa’s ACES moves closer to boosting farmer’s livelihoods

Africa’s ACES moves closer to boosting f…

The Rwandan Government has launched the new African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Cooling and Cold Chain (ACES), which is hosted in-country by the University of Rwanda

Econet launches eco-farmer for Zimbabwe's smallholder farmers

Econet launches eco-farmer for Zimbabwe'…

Econet Wireless has developed a weather-indexed drought insurance service enabling smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe to buy insurance for as little as US$0.08 per day

Monsanto dedicates US$50 million to African agricultural development

Monsanto dedicates US$50 million to Afri…

Multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto Company has announced that it will provide US$50 million to support sustained agricultural development and growth across Africa over the next ten years

Nigeria sets aside US$500mn for agricultural processing plants

Nigeria sets aside US$500mn for agricult…

Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti State in Nigeria, said that his government would distribute US$500mn for the construction of equipment for agricultural products being manufactured in the state

UN imparts training to fight pest menace on date palms in Libya

UN imparts training to fight pest menace…

Food and Agriculture Organisation supports member countries in improving livelihood resilience against threats or crises

‘Ghana’s youth should take advantage of tomatoes farming’

‘Ghana’s youth should take advantage of …

The district chief executive for Berekum West, Isaac Osei has urged the youth to take advantage of vegetable farming especially tomatoes to better their lives

Kenya receives second batch of fertiliser

Kenya receives second batch of fertilise…

The second delivery of 64,000mt of fertiliser to be distributed to small-scale farmers across Kenya has arrived in Mombasa

Expanding women’s access to opportunities can help Tanzania: World Bank report

Expanding women’s access to opportunitie…

Tanzania stands to benefit enormously from expanding women’s economic opportunities, especially in terms of access to land and productive assets, according to the World Bank economic analysis for the country

Kenyan researchers reveal lifesaving properties of cactus for livestock

Kenyan researchers reveal lifesaving pro…

Cactus could sustain African livestock during drought, according to scientists at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)

Government of Tanzania to improve plant health with support from EU and FAO

Government of Tanzania to improve plant …

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the government of the United Republic of Tanzania through the Ministry Agriculture,...

Nigeria sets target for 2017 cassava production

Nigeria sets target for 2017 cassava pro…

The agricultural ministry of Nigeria has announced its target to produce 51mn metric tonnes of cassava in 2017

Prev Next