World Food Prize; What next?...
When wearing my YPARD web and communications’ officer cap, I try to rather be a neutral moderator who, instead of saying her views, solicits other’s opinion with rather objective questions. I remove my cap for this following post and make it a bit more personal. Thoughts are my own.
The World Food Prize 2011 is over...
- Former President Lula da Silva from Brazil and Former President J. A. Kufuor from Ghana seemed to have good reasons to be the 2011 Laureates; they addressed very inspiring speeches.
- We met a bunch of young people from the US, very enthusiastic about YPARD’s movement and willing to join the global community of youth in ARD, in order to share knowledge and experience with their peers all around the world and particularly in Developing countries.
- We interacted with many individuals and organizations supporters of the Youth! Some may target youngsters and students whereas YPARD focuses on people at the beginning of their career, but it might be the greatest aspect of it: we might be able to build partnerships in a way that there is continuity through the actions of the different stakeholders.
- We have been glad to receive the words of support of some private sectors leaders, sensitive to the importance of getting young people to express themselves all around the world and get attracted by agriculture!
We bring back home optimism, a reassuring evidence of commitment by stakeholders from different sectors, and some possibilities of broader networking, for trying to achieve our purpose: fighting hunger in a sustainable manner without depleting our environment!
Enough Food; Good Food; Healthy natural environment
Innocent enough, I was, for taking conscience, only that week, of something fundamental: there is enough Food in the world for everybody. I however still need to get to know if the food available IS a nurturing and healthy food. I need to get back to the internet and my books and make sure I use reliable information resources to get valuable information (big job it is, as everything and its opposite is said on that matter!).
I come from a country where Tomatoes are red and taste Tomato. We don’t need to wash them with extra-care liquids as we were “supposed to” when I was living in Nigeria. I don’t have any degree in agriculture but I have been eating vegetable grown in the family’s garden during the first 20 years of my life. One of the greatest pleasures was to grab tomatoes and raspberries straight from the garden and eat them straight away. I was also used to enjoy from time to time the fantastic tasty fresh milk directly taken from the tank, once we had finished milking the cows with my uncle. Yes I know how to process and I am not afraid of putting my hand on a veil’s mouth! This to say that I want this chance for our new generation as well!
Working together, winning together
We have been repeating again and again that week that we must work together. “We” includes stakeholders from different sectors (public, private, researchers etc), from different regions of the world. That’s the leitmotif of my daily work- getting people connected and work together. For this to happen, we first of all need a common purpose... “Ending Hunger without depleting our environment” is, for example, YPARD’s purpose. We are not ready to make any compromise on this!!
- Let’s be optimistic and consider that we might all – at least people attending the WFP and people from the Development field – want to end hunger, yes!
- Now, what we need to measure is how much we all want to save our natural environment
- Then, do we agree on the solutions to preserving our environment; aren’t our positions opposing one another on HOW to preserve health and nature? I personally need to get clearer ideas on how much, new technologies in agriculture impact environment, and then measure the impacts of some current policies and business.
- Furthermore, aren’t differences of views on actions to be taken a threat for the success of acting-together?!
- Last but not least, aren’t political and social reasons and individual greediness, the major limitation to a joint effective action against hunger?
For working together effectively and toward our purpose, we need to create a win-win situation with our partners. Repeating that we need to work together might help sensitize and get one another reconsider his/her own priorities, and put hungry people’s and earth’s benefits first. I still think that we need to consider the human factor from deeper perspectives. The ideas and interests of the different stakeholders working in agriculture need to be identified and addressed specifically for achieving an integrated action.
Some key leaders in the agricultural private sector are at the heart of many ethical debates. They however surely have a point: WE MUST TAKE ACTIONS NOW! Enough talking about the problems, let’s find the solutions...or I’d rather say, let’s find ways of AGREEING on solutions - because options are identified and not missing!! It is even more fundamental to act NOW that some people are currently moving fast and their actions are threatening our environment and people! We need to determine the WHAT but also the HOW! We must find how we can work together around these.
...for next year not to have the same agenda at the World Food Prize 2012 such as at so many conferences going on all over the world!