Kilimokwanza.org Reporter “Our efforts are intertwined with a commitment to creating a food future that is not only sustainable but nourishes and empowers empowers all communities,” Jeremiah Rogito, a Food and Land Use Coalition Specialist at AGRA, has said.
Sharing insights during a pivotal event held on November 2nd, 2023 convened by AGRA, brought together partners of The Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) at AGRA’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants included representatives from GAIN, UNSDN, and WRI, who engaged in thoughtful discussions centered around collaborative efforts aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and adapting food systems and land use practices to effectively address the pressing challenges of climate change.
Rogito shed light on the origin and core mission of the Food and Land Use Coalition, highlighting its emergence in 2017 as a scientific-based institution. The coalition’s primary objective is to unite governments, private sector entities, and key stakeholders to urgently address the need for a radical transformation of global food systems. This transformation is essential to harmonize food consumption and production with sustainable practices in light of mounting issues like climate change and escalating food insecurity.
“At the global level, our coalition is supported by nine core partners, and we’ve successfully established six active country platforms,” Rogito stated, underlining the pivotal role of these platforms in tracking and monitoring commitments aimed at achieving sustainable food production and consumption. He emphasized the global importance of such collaboration to confront the complex challenges presented by climate change and the growing specter of food insecurity. In Kenya, the Food and Land Use Coalition boasts an impressive network of 49 Coalition Partners.
These partners convened at the event with a shared objective: to harmonize their understanding and goals in addressing critical challenges. Five key areas were singled out for prioritization in Kenya’s journey toward establishing sustainable food and land use systems. These strategic focus areas encompass promoting healthy diets, nurturing productive and regenerative agriculture, safeguarding and rejuvenating nature, tackling the daunting issues of food loss and waste, and ensuring that gender inclusivity, including the empowerment of youth and women, remains at the forefront of the food system transformation agenda.
Rogito brought attention to the significant challenge posed by food loss and waste, citing statistics that reveal approximately 37% of the food produced globally goes to waste. He emphasized the imperative of addressing these issues as part of a comprehensive strategy to mitigate hunger and resource inefficiencies. Within the Kenyan context, the Food and Land Use Coalition has made notable progress since its inception in 2019. Rogito highlighted the release of a scoping study report, which meticulously outlined specific challenges and areas of focus essential for steering the nation toward sustainable food and land use transformation. In June 2022, the Coalition achieved a milestone by establishing action coalitions dedicated to each of the five key areas of focus.
These action coalitions are instrumental in implementing on-ground programs, thereby propelling progress toward sustainable food and land use systems in Kenya. Rogito underscored the importance of aligning these multifaceted efforts with national and international conventions and agreements, with particular emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He emphasized the commitment of Africa to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and the necessity for these initiatives to meaningfully contribute to national priorities and government policies.
Rogito underscored the collaborative and holistic approach of the Food and Land Use Coalition in addressing the urgent imperative of transforming food systems on a global scale. He noted that the coalition’s work is firmly aligned with both national and international priorities, with a steadfast focus on sustainable development and the enhancement of the well-being of populations.