Sustainable food security and holistic partnership

As the world strives to increase sustainable development and respond to new priorities alongside emerging and changing circumstances, donors and international actors are prompted to be sensitive to fundamental shifts. These holistic shifts include science, technology, policies, institutions, capacity development and investments that are moderated by ethics and inspired by the common good. For example, the various tenets of sustainable engagements or initiatives should enhance rural livelihoods, thereby increasing the access of small scale and local farmers to land, economic resources, and markets. Unfortunately these farmers have oftentimes been at the mercy of multinational corporations.

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Because of the success he has experienced as a farmer participating in the PCAN project, Tinga Ramde was able to plant this cabbage field as a supplemental source of food for his family. Tinga is a farmer in Pella, Burkina Faso. Pella is one of 42 villages participating in the PCAN prject. Tinga understood the vision of the PCAN project from the beginning. He says he wanted to participate in the project because he longed for a stable income that would provide education and good health to his family.

According to a report on synthesized agricultural techniques, a powerful tool for meeting development and sustainability goals across the globe resides in empowering farmers to innovatively manage soils, water, biological resources, pests, and genetic diversity in a culturally appropriate manner. What is most needed are partnerships that are respectful and dignifying among stakeholders.

The desires of rural farmers and the quality of food security strategies that are made available to food insecure communities need to be balanced in order for food security to be attained; food security here is defined as people at all times having physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meet their dietary needs and food preferences for active and healthy life (FAO, 2001). The practices implemented should be able to build trust, value farmers’ knowledge, maintain or increase agricultural and natural biodiversity, and work with local management systems. The long term goal of such partnerships is food sovereignty, which is defined as the right of peoples and sovereign states to democratically determine their own agricultural and food policies.

Charles Kwuelum

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