Food insecurity in Africa – Nutrition professor Ruth Oniyang’o

Food insecurity in Africa – Nutrition professor Ruth Oniyang’o



Africa is already the world’s most meals insecure continent. Acute meals insecurity rose 60 p.c within the yr to February 2021 – largely on account of the so-called three Cs – COVID-19, battle and local weather change.

But with Ukraine and Russia supplying thousands and thousands of tons of wheat, maize and sunflower oil to Africa yearly till now, many nations – from Egypt to Tanzania, Kenya to Nigeria – are going to should look elsewhere for his or her provides, and discover the cash to purchase them in a world of hovering meals costs.

Here, Professor Ruth Oniyang’o, founder and editor-in-chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development joins The Agenda with Stephen Cole to clarify the true world affect of the disaster in Ukraine.


Professor Ruth Oniyang’o is the founder and editor-in-chief of the African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development.

She has had a profitable tutorial profession, turning into the primary professor of diet in sub-Saharan Africa, and serving as a Member of the Kenyan Parliament from 2003-07 the place she was Shadow Minister for Education, Science and Technology. 

Over three a long time in the past, she additionally based Rural Outreach Africa, to serve ladies smallholder farmers and assist create jobs for younger individuals inside the agricultural worth chain.


Speaking from Nairobi, Professor Oniang’o says: “It’s very fascinating that when the Russia – Ukraine battle began, none of us might ever think about that it might affect this continent. You know, it’s so distant. But as we all know, world commerce and interconnectedness meant these of us who comply with these points knew that in the end one thing would occur. And what I’m seeing now that’s devastating us is that worth meals costs are going up, which is very tough for individuals who rely on shopping for meals reasonably than producing their very own.”

“Many customers [in Africa] are asking, what does the battle should do with us? Don’t we produce wheat in Kenya?” Professor Oniang’o says, including: “But you then start to understand that we import numerous wheat and we import numerous vegetable oil, which we use to mix into different meals, which we use as lubricants, which we use in cosmetics and which we use in important merchandise. And that is how now that battle truly impacts us. People aren’t producing. Trade has been affected. The embargo is on us. So clearly issues are more likely to worsen for us, particularly within the Horn of Africa.”


Monika Tothova, an economist on the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organization talks about what the physique is doing to reduce the affect of the battle in Ukraine on the meals provide chain.

– Pekka Pesonen, secretary-general of COPA-COGECA, which represents greater than 70 nationwide farming organizations throughout Europe, joins The Agenda to think about how fellow farmers may help their Ukrainian counterparts at the moment of disaster.

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