' Ramadan is not at all about deprivation. Instead, it is about expressing gratitude. But I have also learned that it is about food security and the need for sustainable food systems.' Opinion | SabinSelimi
The holy month of Ramadan is an opportunity for us to rethink how we rear our food and its impact on society and our environment.
Up to a third of the food we produced was wasted. Today, malnourishedpeople around the world are disproportionately suffering the consequences of the pandemic. The human toll comes with substantial economic costs, including lost incomes and the rise of unemployment rates.
The constraints of food systems go beyond failing to feed the world well. The way the world produces and consumes food has a direct impact on our health and the environment. For instance, countries highly vulnerable to hunger have not shownover the past many years due to the poor nutritional composition of the food supply.
The climate crisis is already having an inevitable impact on food securityaround the globe. Agriculture is vulnerable to changes in agroclimatic zones and extreme weather events — such as droughts or floods — destroying crops and undermining the well-being of entire regions and countries. Avoiding further climate disasters requires fundamental changes in the ways we obtain our food. headtopics.com
However, changes should lead to climate resilience that ensures food security for all and addresses pre-existing inequalities rather than deepening them. This means understanding and executing ‘principles of just transition’ in the food systems – not only in terms of the outcomes but in processes and ways of thinking.
What’s the way forward?First, it should begin at the community level. In other words, it should ensure the inclusion of people directly involved in food production, such as farmers and agricultural workers involved in industrial agriculture.Second, their experiences and needs should be the basis for shaping a strategy for change through strong connections between vulnerable groups and policymakers, financial institutions, and supply chain businesses like retail corporations.
By doing the above, we may be able to challenge the ‘get big or get out’ logic that dominates food production. Let us face it: for many, the only way to get fair income is to produce on a large scale, using chemicals and purchasing seeds from large corporations. Large agricultural complexes are replacing smallholder farmers.
Also, there is limited political space for farmers’ voices in the conversation at the level of political and economic changes. This is especially true for women farmers, who are even more at risk of not having their voices heard.Industrial agriculture causes significant damage to the environment and is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, especially when all processes and necessary resources are considered. headtopics.com
Nature-based solutions, such as the shift to agroecology, moving towards healthier diets, more efficient and sustainable supply chains, food waste reduction, as well as changes in mindsets on the consumers’ side, are all significant. They are a crucial part of transformations required to allow food systems to work with the environment and not against it, for the people and not against them.
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