By Apolot Claire Sandra and Akepa Paul
We are delighted to have been part of the Youth Engagement Forum that was organized by Youth for Africa on the International Youth Day under the theme “Transforming Food Systems.”
The session was interactive and educative, it brought together many youths from different parts of the Eco-System around the globe. We realized that; for a sustainable food system, we require many steps. Each with a variety of inputs and outputs some of which include the production stage, processing, distribution and consumption.
As youth, we notice most challenges that we face today in the food system such as; long-term sustainability, obesity and diet-related illness, food prices and affordability, food wastage, climate change, and water use. An exploration of the basis of consumers’ decision making about food purchases and consumption and their prior views about food sustainability is also important. Food production will increasingly be impacted by ‘’climate change’’ in particular from the increased frequency of storms, droughts and other extreme weather occurrences. Food production is in turn a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions as well as water scarcity and other biodiversity issues.
The food processing sectors are gaps in supply chain infrastructure bringing about reduced primary processing, storage and distribution facilities and insufficient connection between production and processing.
Under the action plans to implement in order to boost agriculture and mitigate some of the challenges in the food systems, we, the youth dream of the following;
- We need to redesign our systems in order to make effective changes in our society.
- There is need to promote free trade.
- We dread for more opportunities provided by the governments for the modification of the Eco-System, investing and research in agriculture.
- Sensitization of the Youth about the different ventures and promoting agriculture on social media, a lot of the youth mingle here.
- Change the perception we have towards the environment, make it a better place.
The future of the food systems belongs to the youth, we have approached tomorrow.
Apolot Claire Sandra and Akepa Paul are members of the UNA-Uganda Chapter at Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT).