I wonder whether we should even celebrate World Food Day on October 16 when entire communities are starving. I believe that there are ton of factors that can explain the global food shortages; climate change, the market economy and plain overpopulation.
While conversing with some people here in Musanze one day, they complained that Irish potatoes cost 180 francs a kilogram-a situation they attributed to its export to Uganda and Burundi.
I remember reading about a group of Rwandans who recently fled to Burundi due to hunger. This while Rwanda supplies Burundi with food!
Global climatic change will affect Africa more than any other continent I presume. Those familiar with the weather patterns have noticed the fact that rain hasn’t been falling in the usual amounts.
In a family of ten people, only about four practice rudimentary agriculture, to feed the remaining six and sell the rest to cater for the family’s needs. Many Africans still believe in the ‘quantity rather than the quality’ where children are concerned.
Parents produce children without thinking about how to cater for them. The result? Children with protruding ribs and swollen bellies. The Malthusian theory of population growth-in relation to resources is becoming a doomsday scenario. Population growth is so rapid that it is surpassing food production.
Besides the mushrooming population, rural-urban influx, where people are leaving their villages to end up doing in urban centers, is also a problem. These people do nothing all day while expecting to have a meal.
If there is to be global food security, everybody must work towards a common cause. The UN should establish a fund that will utilize all the available resources to make sure that next time we celebrate World Food Day and not a ‘Hunger Day’.
The author is a teacher in Musanze