Re: Forests and trees provide benefits for food security and nutrition– what is your say?

Dr. Violet Kadenyeka Mugalavai Chepkoilel University College, Kenya
Violet Kadenyeka

Dear Forum members,

I would like to share my experience as a case study for your thoughts.

When l was growing up, my siblings and l enjoyed a good variety of fruits such as gooseberries and wildberries and other wild fruits from the forest woods. There were also loquats, guavas, and sweet bananas too. We climbed over the trees and reached onto the bushes and had unlimited access to fruits of all kinds. Little did we know that we were contributing to our own nutrition security which enabled us to get all the micronutrients, calories, and antioxidants, all necessary for good health, cognitive and physical development.. This also gave us reason to mingle with neighbouring children, make friends and develop our psychomotor skills.  I look back and thank the times when forests were real and fruit trees were part of the culture of object-people relationships. We bonded with the bushes and the trees as we carefully picked fallen wood fuel sticks from the woods to take home to our mother to make the next meal. We looked forward to going back to the woods more often than not. All this is no more. I have recently embarked on rebuilding this experience for todays children to experience this wealthy and healthy cultural experience. It is important to rebuild diversity and conserve forests and practice agrofruitistry for the sake of both urban and rural children. Keep children healthy by providing for them creative ways of growing up and linking and gaining from the environment that they live in, educating them why it is important, for a sustainable ecosystems approach.