Rwanda: Let's Work at Food Security With One Mind
The New Times (Kigali)
16 October 2008
Posted to the web 17 October 2008
Yesterday October 16, the world celebrated World Food Day, a day set aside to mark the founding in 1945 of the Food and Agriculture Organisation arm of the United Nations.
This year we commemorate this day amidst increasing numbers of people going hungry worldwide.
The interventions of the wealthy nations are numerous, but it seems that the policies for dispensing food aid are simply not being as effective as they should be.
Aid agencies as well as ordinary people are appalled at the inability of the world to organise itself to fight hunger adequately.
Before the financial crisis, demonstrations, strikes and minor insurrections in many parts of the world characterised people's protests against governments that were allegedly not looking out for them to protect them against soaring fuel and food prices.
In Rwanda, prospects to rout hunger improve by the day. Given a government that is determined to lift its population out of all poverty-inflicting practices, including low food production, the good news is that there is a drive to step up food production.
Farmers are being taught to practice modern farming methods.
Improved seeds and low-cost fertilisers are being handed out in the countryside in a mega boost to triple food production.
In the Eastern Province, cattle farmers are turning to modern livestock farming methods - getting rid of their huge heads of cattle to settle for fewer but higher-yielding breeds that need less nomadic grazing, thereby freeing some acreage of much needed land for other purposes.
Like any other country, Rwanda is still tied to the global whole. But we can still work at the local level first to improve our livelihoods before we become beholden to the bigger outer world.
This should start with us and our productivity, so that we do not follow others in their eternal quest for food aid.
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