This member participated in the following discussions
Nutrition sensitivity with regard food value chains is constrained by the lack of diversification due to land limitations and lack of diversity of seeds. Ever increasing populations coupled with unsustainable methods of farming make huge parcels of land to become unproductive to support plant growth and pressure mount in terms of demand for limited arable land. This constrains diversification. The second point on lack of seed diversity has increasingly worsened over the past years with the reinforcement of commercial agriculture which builds dependence on external seeds supplied by commercial entities. These seeds are hybrid in nature and therefore have to be bought every season. With the poverty levels among the rural farming households; they become dependent, lose food production sovereignity and can only bank on hybrids supplied by commercial entities. Further, due to the use of chemicals in the production, these can have adverse effects on human nutrition endangered by GMOs and residual chemical elements which compromises the quality of food.
For a long time now, AEAS have been male dominated; due to mainly the patriarchy arrangements. Knowledge and exposure is perceived as a preserve of men. The problem is even deeper in rural areas where agriculture is the mainstay of people's livelihoods. This approach is however in contrast with the situation on the ground; women are more involved in provision of agricultural labor, they are responsible for providing food for the family. They are however doing all that with little or no knowledge as the knowledge is sitting with the man. The extension workers in most cases are male; who may have barriers to effectively connect with women to get to the underlying causes of the inequalities women experience and how these can be addressed. This is the gap and food insecurity continues to widen and deepen. Unless we begin to addressing the underlying causes which mainly touch on culture and tradition; unless we begin to transformatively empower women to understand their rights but also acquire reasonable levels of education and begin to create spaces for them to engage based on their needs; we will continue to experience these high levels of food insecurity and poor nutrition.