How can we rebuild food and agriculture as an economic base after the pandemic

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How can we rebuild food and agriculture as an economic base after the pandemic

food and agriculture
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As human beings living on planet earth, our only home, we are a part of nature, a fact we need to remind ourselves often. In 2019, a UN report announced that one million species around the planet are at risk of extinction. We depend on biodiversity,  the variety of life at genetic, species and ecosystem levels, for food and agriculture production. We are provided with vital ecosystem services that ensure food security and sustainable development.  From pollinators, which are vital in food production, to the maintenance of healthy soils, to pest control, to providing habitat for wildlife such as fish and other species that are part of food, agricultural production and livelihoods.  

There is a wide range of organisms that live in and around the food and agricultural production systems. By learning from nature, we can enhance the food and agriculture system, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. All domesticated plants and animals have wild relatives while other wild species, such as fish and products from bees such as honey, are harvested for food and agricultural purposes. Common herbs such as sages and thyme and grasses such as rice and white all have wild relatives. When you take a walk in the forest or wild spaces, you will be surprised to find wild food which you can consume. This means that what we have today as food consumed by a majority of the global population is from nature which sustains all life on earth.

By working with nature we can be able to sustain the food and agricultural production systems which will contribute to the economy and sustainability for generations to come. According to The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), biodiversity makes production systems and livelihoods more resilient to shocks and stresses, including those caused by climate change. Therefore, there is a need to advocate for organic food and agricultural production systems that support biodiversity.

Organic farming heavily relies on maintaining healthy soils and soil fauna, such as earthworms and allows pollinators from bees, butterflies, other insects, birds and mammals such as bats to flourish. In turn, we can get ecosystem services such as pest control and a diverse range of food which can continue to evolve for centuries to come and adapt to the stresses caused by climate change. Organic farming also produces food which is healthy and good quality for people to consume because of the absence of harsh pesticides and chemicals thus promoting healthy livelihoods and preventing lifestyle diseases. 

As we consider organic farming, we should also be more intentional with food and agriculture production systems that reduce waste. Mitigating food waste or organic waste is a solution to global hunger. Around one-third of the world’s food for human consumption is lost to waste with 75% of food waste happening at the production, postharvest handling, and storage levels. 30% of greenhouse gases are attributed to the global food system from unsustainable farming practices such as the use of chemicals and clearing of natural vegetation to food waste. This is not only a socio-economic issue but one that wreaks havoc on nature accelerating climate change and biodiversity loss. 

If the current global coronavirus pandemic is anything to go by, there is a need to work with nature to support the livelihoods of current and future generations. Preventing food waste, advocating for organic farming and overall awareness creation is key to transforming the food and agricultural system in Kenya and globally.

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Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui
Vicki Wangui is a believer in all things beautiful. A believer in spreading information in regards to environmental awareness. A believer in sharing all that is good in Kenya's natural world. A believer in speaking truth with no boundaries. Do you have a story, photo, experience or message you need to share? Send your work to

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