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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dialogue, knowledge exchange scopes to zero hunger - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Food security experts have identified forging ahead strategies and partnerships with different organizations will ensure that food systems are visible, and recognized, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Leading this call at the weekend is Christiana Louwa Saiti from El Molo People in Kenya, while speaking at the wake of High-Level Expert Seminar on Indigenous Food Systems held to explore how to build on traditional knowledge to achieve Zero Hunger in Italy.

"What it is important about this seminar is not only indigenous peoples themselves coming together, but that we are forging ahead strategies and partnerships with different organizations to ensure that our food systems are visible, recognized and respected," said Christiana.

Indigenous food systems are dynamic and their very persistence highlights their value as a source of insights for broader global challenges, said Helena Semedo, FAO's Deputy Director General.

She urged seminar participants to think of "how can we embrace key features of indigenous food systems that depend on both cultivated crops and wild plants, synergies with the natural environment and biodiversity, close adaptation to local conditions, a high level of diversification, a light carbon footprint, fewer ‘negative externalities' and reduced use of external inputs while being closely tied to socio-cultural and spiritual activities?"

Along with opening and closing ceremonies led by Abuela Amalia, a traditional healer of the Nahuatl People in Mexico, and Taita Morales, the seminar addressed topics ranging from how indigenous food systems can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Zero Hunger Challenge. Sessions were also dedicated to case studies related to communities in upland Vietnam, northern Finland, the Solomon Islands and Cameroon's forests.

"I learnt all that I know about handcrafts and the use of medicinal plants from my grandparents. Today the mission of the youth is to take care and save the natural resources and the sacred elements of their communities and cultures", said Abuela Amalia, calling attention to the challenges, noting that migration and the loss of natural resources pose challenges for the transmission of traditional knowledge to indigenous youth.

Diversified practices linking pastoralism, nomadic gathering and agroforestry from Guatemala, India, Kyrgyzstan and Mali were also presented.

"I think the biggest challenge now is to take what we have learnt and discussed here to the local levels, and be able to engage with communities in preserving and valuing our indigenous food systems," Hayu Patria from the Dayak people in Indonesia.

Along with spurring greater and broader commitment to strengthen the understanding, promotion and preservation of indigenous food systems, the goal of the seminar is to upscale the current indigenous peoples task force into a FAO Technical Network with bolstered links to research institutions, universities, indigenous organizations and other United Nations agencies so as to coordinate activities, and to foster an informal action network to serve as a platform for countries to highlight and support the role that indigenous peoples and their food systems can play in ensuring food security and nutrition.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

... Linking agrobiz, sustainable environs, people & technology

Pix: Christiana Louwa Saiti from El Molo People in Kenya

1 comment:

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