By Mzukona Mantshontsho
The year has been an extremely difficult year for South African farmers, particularly our small and emerging farmers.
To address the issues around food security and greening our spaces, consider having a garden in your back yard – food prices are extremely high these days with the Covid-19 pandemic, a garden would save you.
“Perseverance is key,” says young Majahonkhe Mamba. Majahonkhe’s entrepreneurial journey began after joining Junior Achievement in high school.
After attending a number of Junior Achievement workshops and a few onsite visits to Junior Achievement offices, his inspiration to venture into farming were realized, as he joined the Junior Achievement out of school program.
He decided to partner with a friend and they both combined resources to start ‘Fresh Pro Veg’ his farming business. Three years later, through farming, he is making a living for himself, creating jobs for others and supporting his family.
Some disturbing Statistics:
- Globally, one in nine people in the world today (795 million) are undernourished
- The vast majority of the world’s hungry people live in developing countries, where 12.9 per cent of the population is undernourished.
- Asia is the continent with the hungriest people – two thirds of the total. The percentage in southern Asia has fallen in recent years but in western Asia it has increased slightly.
- Southern Asia faces the greatest hunger burden, with about 281 million undernourished people.
In sub-Saharan Africa, projections for the 2014-2016 period indicate a rate of undernourishment of almost 23 per cent.
- Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45 per cent) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year.
- One in four of the world’s children suffer stunted growth. In developing countries, the proportion can rise to one in three.
- 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
- Agriculture is the single largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for 40 per cent of today’s global population. It is the largest source of income and jobs for poor rural households.
- 500 million small farms worldwide, most still rain fed, provide up to 80 per cent of food consumed in a large part of the developing world. Investing in smallholder women and men is an important way to increase food security and nutrition for the poorest, as well as food production for local and global markets.
- Since the 1900s, some 75 per cent of crop diversity has been lost from farmers’ fields. Better use of agricultural biodiversity can contribute to more nutritious diets, enhanced livelihoods for farming communities and more resilient and sustainable farming systems.
- If women farmers had the same access to resources as men, the number of hungry in the world could be reduced by up to 150 million.
- 1.4 billion people have no access to electricity worldwide – most of whom live in rural areas of the developing world. Energy poverty in many regions is a fundamental barrier to reducing hunger and ensuring that the world can produce enough food to meet future demand.