THE ROLE OF YOUTH IN TRANSFORMING FOOD SYSTEMS IN NIGERIA

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Food is much bigger than what is on your plate

UN Deputy Secretary-General

This year’s International Youth Day theme highlights the importance and need for youth participation in achieving safe and sustainable food system. The main goal of Transforming Food System seeks at balancing health and economic policies, promoting healthy diets and nutrition, strengthening social protection policies and inclusion, integrating natural resource protection into food sector policies, and enhancing the contribution of the private sector.

Our Now: The Impact From Failing Income and Food System

Before the onset of the Corona Virus pandemic, food systems especially in developing countries already face serious challenges. COVID-19 has put the world further behind in achieving transformed food systems and reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially for a country like Nigeria which before then has been below poverty line. The aftermath of the COVID- 19 is evident in the high cost of food, food scarcity and insecurity. The loss of jobs, constant laying off of workers by employees leading to loss of decent means of livelihood and shelters has also worsened the effect of the pandemic on a lot of people.

The increase in poverty level has widened the inequality gap and the possibility of achieving the 17 sustainable development goals (SDG). Secondly the lock down kept a lot of farmers at home hindering them from utilizing the farming season, leading to food scarcity, gross shortage in food supply and distribution which has affected the quality of food as many distributors would do anything to increase their supply.

Secondly, the growing rise of insecurity ranging from Banditry, political tension, kidnapping, farmers/herdsmen clashes, inter-community clashes etc. pose high threats on our food system; farmers don’t feel save to go to farms anymore and others have been displaced from their communities due to the aforementioned insecurities.

Challenges like the lack of access to modern farm tools, absence of safe market system, bad roads, climate change and poor hygiene has also contributed to food insecurities faced. The marginalization and monopolization of market by big food distributors/ farmers against small scale farmers /distributors has also affected the heightened price of food and inequality in the food system.

Furthermore there is a wide gap between various food system stakeholders ranging from the government, various agricultural and food safety Agencies, groups: rural farmers, artisans, business women and men, market women, youths and health workers, not excluding LG Chairmen, traditional and religious leaders, rural food processors, marketers, value chain leaders and input service providers. Even though the government emphasizes the need to focus more on agriculture, there seem to be no effective policies and strategies that promote this agitation. There is a cogent need to create more realistic and effective mechanize/solution based food system policies, as part of the initiative to develop national pathways for food systems transformation.

THE ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN THE TRANSFORMATION FOOD SYSTEMS

Civil society organisations play a vital role in the cause to achieve food security and achieve the sustainable development goals (SDG). Young people can actively support the work of these civil societies either as grassroots catalyst, volunteers or as members. Young people can also use such platforms to take advantage of loans, grants and other support available that support sustainable transformation of the food system. . Civil Society Organisations both Local and international must also take up more projects that are geared towards achieving transformation in the food system……

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“I KNOW THE STORY!”

There are sounds we hear!
From distant lands in cold nights
in daylights and in our motherland
of cracks, bullets and raging raffles
of trembling feet consumed by the fear
yet daring to draw their swords
while we cross our arms in comfort

There are stories of men!
whose bravery knows no bound
who dared death with cloned armors
who did not die but offered their souls
who defile nature for a true course
while our eyes are shut in sleep
the widen their eyes to trace
the footprints of insecurity

I know stories of giants fallen like
toothless Irokos in simbisa, alike
I know of vibrant heart beats
reduced to weak pulse and to nothing
but with the song of allegiance on their lips
I know of screams, anguish, of grindings,
of pains of the family they left behind

I don’t know the color of this grief
but my heart aches in silent aches
for a country who stabs its own at the back
even now I am yet to dymistify this mystery
I speak not of wit but of a bleeding heart
I pray for a country that offers its own in the
alter of propaganda and political thirst
as sacrifice with a dark heart dressed in wide grin
yet reach out a hand to the drunken thirsty beast
parting it backs and taking it home
I don’t know what smell truth wear
but the radiant glow of a HERO cants be hidden!!
So I celebrate our heroes fallen and those standing
I pray that wisdom find its comfort with you
I pray the holy one shield you from this wild
burning fire that consumes your brotherhood

© Akatiki
NB: A Poem for reflection….🙏

Please leave a thought below!

What Your Mirror Doesn’t Tell You!

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”

― John Joseph Powell

The urge to stand across the mirror, to gaze at our reflection is summarily an irresistible urge, it can be compared to the urge to take coffee when directly in front of a coffee shop or may be more, so at one point or the other we are culprit, everyone wants to have a sense of feel of what he or she is or probably looks like and its normal that this feeling resonate with us at every phase of our life; I have also caught myself multiple times in front of a mirror whether at school, home, cars or even on the screen or mirror of passing cars.

LIES MIRRORS TELL

The primary universal known purpose of a mirror is to reflect; to give back what is put to it, we look at the mirror because we want to know who we are, but the mirror reflect base on its capacity “The size and clarity of the mirror affect how much of yourself you can see” it only gives back what is put across to it, therefore mirrors are limited reflection of who we are, a mirror has no ability to see through us or what is out of its coverage. While the person you see across the mirror may possibly give you a sense of who you are, that is not truly who you are, yes! that’s is not all that is to who you are.

…..Mirrors are limited reflection of who we are

The mirror also have its perspective as we do, its amazing how a mirror affect our perspective, emotions and confidence, if the mirror posses a picture portraying you as beautiful, you feel beautiful and more confident to walk into any place with head up, standing tall, that way you have a better and more happy day, on the dark side of it is, if it portrays otherwise you turn out feeling less confident and depressed, my point of revelation is this, the mirror itself is not totally honest with us; when you look in a mirror, who do you see? not the person other people see, since our reflection in the mirror is reversed – raise your left hand, and the person in the mirror raises their right hand! From the way we part our hair to the way we smile, our faces are not symmetrical and the image we see looking at us from the mirror is not the face we show to the world – left and right are reversed.

Its sometimes amazing how the mirror tells you with a smile starked on your face you are happy, regardless of how dimmed or cold your heart may be, it tells you with a frown you are sick, angry and unhappy while in reality we are not, so our mirror lie and is not truly the reflection of who we are, there is more mental work especially to be done and much to be unveiled to truly discover who we are.

“The mirror can lie.
Doesn’t show you what’s inside.
And it, it can tell you you’re full of life.
It’s amazing what you can hide just by putting on a smile.”

― Demi Lovato

MIRRORS AND OUR REALITY

Aside the idea of a literal mirror, people around us are our human mirror, at one point or the other the try to reflect who we are, whether with our permissions or not, invariably out of curiosity we look up to them to know who we are, base on what they tell us about what we look like or act like. Just like the mirror their feedback or reflections, has the ability to make or mar you or your confidence and general outlook towards yourself and your life, just like the mirror humans or what the say are not always the true reflection of who we are, their reflections are limited and only base on the limited aspect of us the believe to have perceived and the can only see us base on their capacity, just like a small mirror wont be able to reflect beyond probably the face because of its size (capacity) people can’t see us beyond who the are, a negative person is likely to see grossly the negative aspect of your life and vice-versa, interestingly the ugly person would probably see you as beautiful because you are better than he is and the beautiful person would perceive you as ugly because he is probably better than you, if someone meets you mostly happy or with a smile he will certainly define you as a happy person, likewise otherwise, the bottom line is people can only see you base on their perspective and capacity.

“The mirror is the worst judge of true beauty”

― Sophia Nam

“WHAT DOES A MIRROR LOOK AT?”

It’s popular to hear people say our reality is a mirror reflection but that is not true as  the mirror is not even accurate or direct reflection of what is put accross to it, there is more to us, behind our cold face may be a bright mind, behind our bright smile may be a clouded mind either ways there is more to us than what is been reflected by our society, family, freinds or whatever or whoever we are looking up to, to be self aware and know who we are. We may look at the mirror (literal or human) and see a shattered reality but behind that may be a great future and locked inside where this mirror can’t see might be all the potentials you need to get there, so it’s not healthy to judge ourselves and entire life base on just what this mirrors tells us. While you spend so much time looking at the mirror the mirror itself looks up to you so you are the only one who can define who or what you are.

😊Please leave a thought at the comment box below!!!

The Implication of a Public Proposal

GUEST POST

Actually, I feel public proposal is a public manipulation strategy most a times by the guy: He orders the setting perfectly, sets up the lady against the camera, by and large the world, then leaves her to make a life changing decision within split seconds with people screaming and cheering on her to accept the ring. How has the lady been treated during the relationship? How prepared is the guy for the wedding? How prepared is he for marriage? The onlooking crowd “no send”, they just don’t care that the lady understands the situation and possible after-effects more than everyone present, to them, the lady must accept or she gets the blame.

Women are always going to be blamed if the engagement cast, but, the men should do better.

As a guy, your actions and words must command respect and responsibility towards your lady, you must motivate her towards seeing that you are indeed ready to take complete responsibility for her after that 💍 is placed on her finger. She should at least see it in you that it is just a matter of months before you take her home. Placing the ring should be the least of your worries but the ladies often love the public show anyway!

A responsible guy should at least try talking to his lady about the possibility of a public engagement someday. Sample her opinion on how she’d react in that case. “If her body language no dey encouraging and you still proceed later, na your self you just dey hungry to go disgrace.”

Wrtten By: Agbutun Sammozbi Ayalo

Am interested in knowing what you think!!

Leave your opinion at the comment box below!!!

Lies We Tell Ourselves

You can fool yourself, you know. You’d think it’s impossible, but it turns out it’s the easiest thing of all. If you lie to yourself, you’re being delusional. If you cannot accept the truth and think to yourself otherwise, you’re in self-denial. Now look, if you repeat a lie you said to yourself to someone […]

Lies We Tell Ourselves