The 2014 ‘World Food Day’ theme of Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”, has been chosen by FAO to help to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
These areas are supported by IFS research, through research into aquatic and terrestrial production systems, as well as our ‘Cluster of Research Support’ dealing with ‘Food Security, Dietary Diversity and Healthy Livelihoods’, and World Food Day provides an opportunity to share and celebrate a few of the diverse topics that most recently received IFS grants within the context of small holder farming and food security...
The first serving for world food day would be goats and vegetables in Africa: In Uganda IFS grantee Dorothy NAMPANZIRA is developing high-value feeds for indigenous meat goats based on some native browse species for smallholder farmers. Whilst in Zimbabwe, Gaudencia KUJEKE is undertaking agronomic, nutritional and post-harvest studies of Livingstone potato (Plectranthus esculentus), an underutilised vegetable for increased productivity. Meanwhile in Nigeria Aisha ABDULKADIR is modelling the nutrient balances of urban and peri-urban crop vegetable-based systems. Whilst in the Republic of South Sudan, Tony NGALAMU is evaluating cowpea germplasm collection, characterisation and evaluation for food security.
Regarding food security and nutrition, in Benin, Flora Josiane CHADARE is assessing antioxidant (vitamin C and carotenoids) stability in baobab fruit pulp powder and its derived foods during storage, whilst Nadia Lisette Medesse FOGNY FANOU, is looking at the effect of MNP-enriched fonio porridge on the prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia among young Beninese children. In Ethiopia, Fekadu Gurmu BALCHA is looking at improvement of sweet potato for root dry matter and beta-carotene content. Whilst over in Ecuador, Juan Manuel CEVALLOS-CEVALLOS is investigating another rich source of antioxidant through the propagation of Ecuadorian blueberry plants (Vaccinium floribundum Kunt).
More generally, Victor Aime KEMEUZE is researching land-use management by smallholder farmers in semi-arid areas of the Logone flood plain in Northern Cameroon, and related to the reduction of food waste, Silvia Johana ORTIZ ULLOA in Nabon-Ecuador is undertaking an assessment of traditional wood ash nixtamalization as a detoxification strategy to reduce fumonisin and aflatoxin contamination of boiled maize (´mote pelado´).
Finally, in the context of families, Aline Modoukpe ALOUKOUTOU is taking a gender perspective analysis in researching climate change adaptation decision-making in rural households in northern Benin, whilst in Ethiopia, Birhanu Megersa LENJISO, is looking into gender, intra-household dynamics and market integration among smallholder dairy farmers in Selale, Oromia National Regional State.
Thank you to all of the researchers, including IFS grantees, working on world food day, and every day, to feed the world and care for the earth.