BUNYA – Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba says Namibia must sow the seeds of peace in order to achieve food security as well as to improve nutrition and ‘leave no one behind”.
The VP’s narrative resonated well with President Hage Geingob’s signature mantra, saying, “No Namibian should feel left out,” as government strives to eradicate poverty and bring about social and economic justice in its nationhood discourse.
Mbumba made the remarks in his keynote address read on his behalf by Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister Alpheus !Naruseb, at the commemoration of the World Food Day held at Bunya village in Kapako Constituency, Kavango West Region on Tuesday.
The event was commemorated under the theme, “A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible.”
Mbumba stated Namibia should redouble its efforts to build climate resilience for food security and nutrition and that it should also focus on rural investment to reduce the long-term effects of short-term climate variability on food security through crop insurance and incentives that encourage farmers to adopt better agricultural and land use practices. “I am therefore launching an appeal to all responsible ministries, agents and offices of government, academia, farmers and the private sector to accelerate and scale up actions to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity in the face of changing climate variability and increasing weather extremes,” he said.
Mbumba noted the pace and severity of climate change is presenting new challenges. Changes in temperature and precipitation as well as more frequent extreme weather events are expected to result in crop and livestock production shortfalls and other asset losses, thereby not only threatening food production but also access, stability and utilisation of food resources.
“Pressure on food supply can be reduced through technologies that make use of degraded or marginal lands to sustainably intensify production and by integrating food and energy production systems using appropriate farming practices. Food security may improve locally where demand for feedstock drives investment in agriculture, creates new employment and market opportunities for small producers and revitalises the rural economy,” said.
Mbumba said Namibia needs investment in order to improve the links between the field and the plate and that it needs policies to spur more private sector investment in agriculture and rural development to boost social protection programmes for the vulnerable and to optimise linkages between food producers and consumers.
“We need science and innovation to find the best seeds that will not only increase yields and crop hardiness but also seeds with greater nutritional value, to save precious water resources and to protect biodiversity. The adoption of climate-smart practices is also central to making sure our food systems are able to adapt to climate change and contribute to its mitigation,” he added.
During the event some 200 selected beneficiaries from Kavango West got food parcels from the food bank comprising of a variety of uncooked food items. Some community projects received garden tools, seeds and fertiliser for their projects.
“While commemorating World Food Day 2018 under the theme - ‘A zero hunger world by 2030 is possible’, it is our actions today that will determine our future and the future of generations to come. Let us make specific commitments which are measurable and time bound (SMART) that would be a game changer towards achieving a healthier and more sustainable future for our people,” he said.