Browse by Theme: Food Security

When I first worked in Kenya, 20 years ago, I saw how farming practices could provide a good life for men and women in rural villages even with little rainfall and where basic services, such as water and electricity were almost non-existent. Farmers and livestock keepers in the dry areas of Kenya have been, by necessity, resilient to difficult conditions. But this is at the cost of hard physical work over long hours on the farm alongside a constant search for additional income sources such as from small business activities just to feed the family and send children to school.

20 years on, rural communities are still dependent on the land but are now facing new challenges from the effects of climate change. Perhaps the biggest impact is the increased uncertainty of the weather patterns. Farmers are no longer sure when to plant, where to take animals for good grazing or when they will be affected by the increasing frequency of droughts and floods. This places a new demand on already vulnerable people. How can they adapt to climate change in the face of all this uncertainty?

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As Usain Bolt pounded to the 200m finish line, displaying formidable human strength, my mind wandered to the Olympics and Paralympics aftermath. The Olympics this year closed to a new opening – one that is hoped to herald in new commitments to reducing malnutrition rates across the developing world.

Looking at Bolt’s muscles flexing across the screen, it seemed apt that the UK’s Hunger Summit on Sunday, which hopes to capitalise on the energy of the Olympics, was promoted by some of the UK’s leading athletes. Sportsmen such as David Beckham and Mo Farah must understand more than most the importance of nutrition.

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