30 years

How can knowledge be food?

Food and nutrition security is an ever present concern around the world and in particular ACP countries. Two questions need to be answered: How do we feed a rapidly growing population, and how do we tackle nutrient deficiency or hidden hunger?

The impact of nutrition insecurity goes far beyond the obvious effects on mental and physical growth and development. It is also the cause of an increased prevalence of chronic but preventable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Not only do these illnesses have a life-long impact on families, they also represent an economic burden to the country due to higher demand for health care.

CTA is tackling this important issue, working with policy makers and farmers’ organisations among others. Indeed, advancing food and nutrition security is a central part of CTA’s mission. CTA firmly believes that providing access to knowledge for a wide audience and building the evidence base for policy making is essential to achieving food and nutritional security.

Only by achieving this, can CTA continue to champion knowledge is food.

"The leaves of my chilli plants have curled up. What should I do?"

"Where can I be trained in mushroom production?"

"What should I do with my rabbits which develop weak legs after giving birth?"

These are just some of the questions fielded by agricultural experts at Cameroon's Allô Ingénieur (Hello Engineer), a helpline for farmers who call in with their problems.

Annah Kinya Kiambati is the national women's representative for the Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP). She is also chair of the local KENFAP branch in Meru County. She believes the organisation has made a profound difference to the welfare of small-scale farmers in this hilly district to the north-east of Mt Kenya. Like Annah most of the farmers here, grow a variety of crops, such as beans, maize and bananas, and many have one or two dairy cows, several chickens and a few goats.