Category “Nutrition”

Zambia: Improving Agro Practice to End Chronic Malnutrition

MALNUTRITION has been a long-standing problem and is one of the leading causes of death among children in Zambia. This ailment affects many children under the age of five and has serious health implications to survivors of the scourge.

Statistics indicate that this country records one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world and that about half of local children are stunted, while one in five is underweight.

It is also evident according to medical results that survivors of chronic malnutrition do not always return to their full strength after any nutritional interventions.

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Rwanda: Leaders Meet to Boost Nutritious Food

ABOUT 300 high-level leaders in government, busines and civil society will converge in Kigali tomorrow for a three-day consultation on how to get nutritious foods to people.

The meeting is organised by HarvestPlus, a global program to improve nutrition and public health, in partnership with the Government of Rwanda. HarvestPlus has worked with other partners to develop new varieties of food crops that contain vitamin A, zinc and iron.

The crops are already being grown by more than a million farmers in several countries where more than 500,000 farmers have already planted new varieties of beans rich in iron.

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Central African Republic: Teetering on the Brink

Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, has just wrapped up a two-day fact-finding visit to the Central African Republic – a country facing a humanitarian disaster that risks getting even worse. In her latest blog, the WFP chief talks about her personal impressions of this ‘forgotten crisis’.

People often laugh when I say I like to meet smiling, chubby babies when I’m out looking at World Food Programme operations in the field. But it’s true. A happy, healthy baby is the most obvious sign that we’re getting things right.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that we are going to get things right all of the time, everywhere in the world. The desperate situation I’ve witnessed these past few days in the Central African Republic shows the dangers of ignoring the warning signals for far too long.

Read the full article HERE

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Africa: The Right to Food

“The right to food is the right of every individual, alone or in community with others, to have physical and economic access at all times to sufficient, adequate and culturally acceptable food that is produced and consumed sustainably, preserving access to food for future generations. … Because of the various channels though which access to food can be achieved, the creation of decent jobs in the industry and services sectors plays an essential role in securing the right to food, as does the provision of social protection.”- Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Final Report

Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur, goes on to note in his report that “Measured against the requirement that they should contribute to the realization of the right to food, the food systems we have inherited from the twentieth century have failed.

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Kenya: Improving Feeding and Nutrition in Kenya

Agricultural extension officers and health workers will now have guide books to support their services in improving nutrition and support for people living with HIV/Aids respectively in Kenya.

The books, Family Nutrition and Living well with HIV/AIDS were launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. They are publication of the UN’s Food Agricultural Organisation (Fao) and the World Health Organisation (Who).

Statistics from the 2008/09 Kenya Demographic Health Survey show that approximately 3.5 million Kenyans (about 11.4 per cent of the population) are estimated to be food insecure. Malnutrition is alarmingly high, with one out of every three children below five years suffering from under-nutrition, and therefore unable to develop to their full potential.

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Africa: Food Loss and Waste a Barrier to Poverty Reduction

The world loses or wastes one-quarter to one-third of all food produced for human consumption, according to the latest issue of the World Bank’s quarterly Food Price Watch citing FAO and World Resources Institute estimates. In regions rife with undernourishment, such as Africa and South Asia, this shocking loss translates to 400 to 500 calories per person, per day – and up to 1520 calories in the developed world.

“The amount of food wasted and lost globally is shameful,” said Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group. “Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market. We have to tackle this problem in every country in order to improve food security and to end poverty.”

According to the latest edition of Food Price Watch, global food prices declined by 3 percent over the last quarter but remain close to historical peaks, driven by record-setting harvests in wheat, maize and rice, increased supplies, and stronger global stocks.

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Africa: Nitrogen Fixation Helps Double Some African Farm Yields

A large-scale research and development project has shown that giving farmers resources and advice on nitrogen fixation through legume plants can double yields and boost incomes in Africa.

But not all farmers are benefiting from this practice due to a lack of access to inputs, such as fertilisers says Ken Giller, the leader of the N2Africa project, as a second phase to widen access to the initiative is announced with US$25.3 million funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the next five years.

Researchers and representatives of NGOs and companies gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, yesterday to discuss the results of N2Africa’s first phase.

Read the full article HERE

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