By: J. Scott Angle, IFDC President and CEO on World Food Day 2015
This World Food Day emphasizes a fundamental truth: everyone deserves access to quality, nutritious food. As Nobel laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug proclaimed, “Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world.” Making this aspiration a reality requires inclusive development that engages women and the next generation.
Empowered Women Educate Others
Did you know that 150 million fewer people would be hungry if female farmers had equal access to land and other resources? A fascinating multiplier effect occurs when women participate in agricultural training. These farmers share what they learn – exponentially expanding vital knowledge to their families and communities.
Take Nigerian farmer Maryam for example. She became engaged in agriculture as a child, helping her family weed and prepare land for planting. In 2014, Maryam participated in several training programs on new farming methods. Her yields tripled. Maryam introduced the techniques to more than 200 women who are experiencing similar success.
Engaging Youth Ensures Food for the Future
The rising global youth population is a dynamic workforce, but many young people in sub-Saharan Africa are leaving the farm. To ensure future food security, young people must see agriculture as a profitable career.
Engaging youth requires mentorship. Young entrepreneurs like Furaha are receiving agribusiness coaching through the Shape and Lead program in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. With adequate support, these farmers, food processors and agribusiness people will feed coming generations.
Both women and youth will drive the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals. These world-changing objectives leave no one behind. Their success depends on inclusive interventions that embolden all people. But to reach Goal 2 (zero hunger by 2030), female farmers and young people require better access to land, agricultural technologies and training. Energizing these strong leaders and agents of change will reduce hunger and catalyze widespread economic growth.