Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Member profile

Dele Raheem

Organization: Arctic Centre / University of Lapland
Country: Finland
Field(s) of expertise:
I am working on:

Global Food systems, Food preservation techniques, Food Nutrition, Food security and Circular economy

This member contributed to:

    • The impacts of this pandemic on the food system has resulted in a diverse range of measures by national governments globally. The food system is interdependent as various food commodities come from different parts of the world. It is likely that some exotic fruits and vegetables that are taken for granted may soon become more expensive or almost non-existent in the Global North. Many countries will have to ensure that their countries rely less on exported foods. The COVID-19 measures taken by countries that produce food and food ingredients in the Global South will likely have impacts on food processing of such imported food crops in the Global North.

      In the northern part of Finland, where I am currently based, there are concerns on recruiting seasonal migrant workers that often come to Finland to help with harvesting, picking of berries and mushrooms from the forest. Due to restrictions, many may not be able to come this summer which may eventally lead to many berries unharvested in the forest.

      The impact of measures to face the COVID-19 pandemic on the exports of processed food crops will depend greatly on the ready availability of the raw food crops. So far, in Finland the policy of food distribution has been quite good, as there is no shortage of foods in grocery shops to date.

      Somehow, we may likely see an increase in the price of foods due to less supply and food adulteration may likely increase, therefore, governments will need to ensure that the origin of food are well monitored to avoid frauds. 



    • In order to address challenges and foster the development of digital agriculture it will be important not to have a generalized concept to address these challenges in different geographical zones. An analysis of a case by case study that takes a critical look at both the opportunities and challenges should be carried out. Apart from the enormous opportunities of digitalisation, a recent policy report on "Digital transformation of European industry" clearly identified risks such as how automation and digitalisation risk polarising work and labour market inequalities, challenges to taxation and social equality systems, escaled shortages in digital skills across the economy, the competitiveness of firms dependent on mastery of digitalisation, issues of privacy and ethics.

    • The positive impacts that will result from engaging the African youth in agriculture has to be radically pursued! Stakeholders, especially the government, has a big role to play through the formulation of policies that not only support the supply of food from agriculture but also value addition to these food crops.

      Nowadays, the awareness is already there in many African countries on the important role of agriculture as a good business investment. As mentioned earlier by previous contributors, the issue of finance is paramount in translating these government policies into realities. The trainings need to incorporate the modern aspects of technology. Research institutions need to be properly supported financially and work in tandem with the youth to be engaged in entrepreneurship.

      Infrastructure that supports the movement of harvested / finished food products has to be well articulated to cope with the African circumstances (hot climate) to reduce waste from pests and enhance quality. ICT that supports capacity development as a tool is very relevant in the African foods system especially in farming and fishing. Africa also needs to look inward and cooperate more on regional basis, to share and learn best practices on getting the youth involved in agripreneurs.

    • "Resilience" to food security in relation to time is an important issue that can be debated from different perspectives. The capacity of human beings to be resilient when faced with certain conditions is a product of several factors.

      Food as a biological product is subject to life cycles that are natural and this is related to time. Biological systems are often in cycles e.g carbon, nitrogen and other elemental cycles can have profound effects with time. Research that study these cycles can generate data to product likely events and how it can affect the food system. A case in point, is climate change and its adverse effects. How individuals  / communities/ regions will be resilient to such changes will be a product of how well they are equiped to deal with such. This is one of the reasons why food systems are often complex and need a very multidisciplinary approach.

      In regions where there is a strong communal spirit to share traditional foods that are linked to the cultural lifestyle e.g in indigenous communities in the Arctic regions, the ability to cope with food insecurity is strengthened. The community will be less resilient when the opportunity of sharing traditional fish, games is limited especially in cases where there is limited income to purchase imported foods. "The ability to save for the rainy day" will depend on how the food system has been managed from the farm to plate.


      Dele Raheem