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Virtual Seminar on Social transformation through change: the effect of COVID-19 on smallholder farming

THEME: Social transformation through change: the effect of COVID-19 on smallholder farming
The first dialogue episode, towards improving Smallholder Farming Food Systems post COVID-19

Approximately, five years ago, the global focus started to be on how we could achieve the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) by 2030. One of the focus areas given topical priority is Goal 1: Zero hunger, because of various reasons, in this case there are three mentioned. Firstly, hunger in all its forms (undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity) has become a multifaceted challenge with a significant negative impact on the social and economic development of many countries. Secondly, the widening gap between the poor and rich aggravates the socio-economic inequities manifested by extreme opulence on one hand and poverty on the other. Thirdly, agri-food systems have been focusing on the quantity of nutrient-poor foods with a continued overuse of scarce natural resources.
Just a decade away towards reaching the targeted year, the catastrophic pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus has resulted in a distraction of focus. This is not only a challenge to public health but also how we can as a matter of urgency reframe and transform our food systems for the betterment of the health and wellbeing of society. According to the world reports on hunger, if a business-as-usual scenario continues, one in two could be malnourished by 2030. In the face of the COVID-19, we need a drastic and swift change in how we deal with food and nutrition security. We need rigorous debates that will give an outlook on how to transform our future food systems.
In Southern Africa, hunger is no stranger, disasters resulting in famine are becoming regular and dependency on food aid has become a way of life. Within this difficult time of COVID-19 challenging the world, it could be a golden opportunity for Africa to change its face of being fed and be the world feeders. Southern Africa has to think about how it produces food, the accessibility (economically and physically) of the food produced, the value of the food to the consumer and how the consumer utilises it. It has now become even more urgent for us to engage in dialogues that could bear results that could effectively combat food and nutrition insecurity. Thus, in Southern Africa, there is a need to transform food systems such that the focus is not on a knee-jerk response of feeding the hungry through just filling up their stomachs (food quantity and short-term focus), but rather ensure that there is quality and adequate food, preferred and socially acceptable “to all”, “for all” and “at all times”.

Compiled by Unathi Kolanisi

Social transformation through change: the effect of COVID-19 on smallholder farming , where Prof Mudhara (UKZN) Agricultural Economist will be unpacking the theme by presenting on “Harnessing Science for rural development and food security: What are the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic?”

 Two panellist Dr Ndou  (MUT) and Mr Bend (The Siyazisiza Trust) will further present their perspectives and realities of COVID-19 on smallholder farming.

 The meeting is titled: Social transformation through change and it will be from 12:00-13:30

 UNATHI KOLANISI is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

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Meeting ID: 774 2956 7929
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