Posted on 23 August 2019
The food system has caused 70% of biodiversity loss mainly through agriculture and overexploitation of species. The way we produce and consume food is putting immense strain on the environment.
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Zimbabwe is in the process of mapping the way forward for implementation of WWF’s Africa Food Future Initiative (AFFI) in the country. A national level consultative workshop was held in July 2019 with internal and external stakeholders to discuss the initiative’s implementation.
Explaining why there is need to take greater interest in food, WWF Zimbabwe Country Director, Dr Enos Shumba said it is important to acknowledge that agriculture is a major driver of environmental degradation. There is need to develop strategies that balance agriculture production and environmental sustainability.
He said it is important to partner with agriculture related institutions and jointly promote ecologically sustainable systems especially for smallholder farming.
He also emphasised the need to keep young people on the land by coming up with initiatives and value chains that can help them make money while they also look after the environment.
Martina Fleckenstein, Policy Manager of the Food Practice at WWF International, emphasised the importance of focusing on transformational food systems such as sustainable production, reducing food loss and waste and sustainable diets, all of which are linked to the global food agenda.
About 20 participants who included agriculture, food security and environment specialists from non-governmental organisations and government identified key areas that should be embraced by the project from a Zimbabwean perspective which include agro-ecology, integrated land management and sustainable and economically viable value chains.
The AFFI is an emerging food practice initiative, which aims to promote the conservation of productive lands, strengthen smallholder food systems, improve community livelihoods and deliver resilient landscapes. It represents a joint vision between the WWF Africa regional office, leaders from several WWF offices in Africa and the Food Practice.
WWF’s vision is to have sustainable food systems that conserve biodiversity while ensuring food security, now and in he future.