Untoss, we can reduce hunger by

Untoss, we can reduce hunger / Published December 8, 2016 by Yustinah Ndambakuwa

Yustinah Ndambakuwa

Untoss, we can reduce hunger

Born and raised in Zimbabwe and currently studying in the US, in such a short period of time I have learnt so much about food. There are so many options of food here unlike what I was used to. One question stuck with me: how come Zimbabwe, the was once breadbasket of Africa, a country known for its farming, did not have as many food options. In 2008, at my boarding school, we were hit by one of the worst famines anyone can imagine. It had not rained enough and there were food shortages of historic proportions but the years prior we had filled storages-- a result of a bountiful harvest. One thing stuck with me, there are not enough ways to preserve, repurpose food, and there are not enough people educated on food waste and how we can preserve food. Blessed by natural sunshine for most of the year, a traditional method of drying coupled with good storage opportunities could go a long way. I have seen a lot of tomatoes, onions among other bruised fruits just tossed away. The seeds can become helpful for replanting, people can get educated on ways to preserve food and we can improve low cost preserving methods.
The issue of food waste has been neglected for a long time. Food waste is not good for the environment, food waste is not good for the people and food waste does not do justice to all the resources invested into the crop. Women, the gender mainly doing the farming to provide food for the family can be helped in so many ways by preserving food: it helps them cut down costs of food expenses. Women and girls are affected by hunger and ending hunger helps reduce poverty and inequality: some of the development goals which the world is focusing on. I believe Zimbabwe relies heavily on women to help end the plight of hunger women.
Programs to encourage and help women improve their post-harvest farming skills should be in place. As women nourish their children, policies and support should be given to women so that food security in the household is improved. Underinvesting in women leads to families living with malnutrition thus causing health hazards to families. The more we tackle food preservation and prevent food waste we decrease food insecurity in populations. This improves health, functioning of children on school tasks and not forgetting the joy one has just from having a well fed stomach. I would not want anyone to go through extreme scarcity of food  like I did and my passion lies in making sure everyone can go to bed after receiving a healthy meal