Food is seen as a basic human right, yet one in nine people globally experience chronic hunger. In order to draw attention to this situation, World Food Day was created by The United Nations as a day of observance in the search to eradicate hunger.
In striving to help communities in and around the transfrontier conservation areas in southern Africa to achieve food security – to access food that is nutritious and in sufficient quantity for an active and healthy lifestyle – Peace Parks Foundation is involved in numerous initiatives that strive for long-term solutions to food production whilst caring for the environment and wildlife.
They promote conservation agriculture techniques to farmers on the banks of the Zambezi River, supporting them with ‘plant doctor’ clinics to help sort problem crops. This type of farming concentrates on soil management practices, minimising the disruption of natural biodiversity. It improves crop yields and leads to long-term environmental and financial sustainability.
Over by Maputo Special Reserve, onion farmers from the Tchia community are supported with seedlings, pesticides and training in special horticultural methods that are used to achieve high yields from poor soil, as well as helping establish links to take the produce to market. In partnership with the COmON Foundation, the aim is to provide communities with alternative livelihoods, which also include beekeeping and farming other produce such as chillies, in order to reduce their dependence on the natural resources of conservation areas.
Aquatic food produced from the ocean, lakes and rivers also has an essential role to play in achieving food security, ending malnutrition and building healthy, nature-positive and resilient food systems. Peace Parks Foundation and partners strives towards the sustainable management of the world’s fisheries and safeguarding the livelihoods they support, while protecting and restoring threatened and endangered species, habitats and ecological functions.
With their support, communities residing along Maputo Bay, near the Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine Reserve now have demarked fishing areas and sanctuaries for marine species reproduction, thereby protecting crucial marine life and aquatic food resources. As this area contains vital breeding grounds for fish, turtles and marine mammals, preserving these areas is integral to the future of both conservation and communities.
In Mozambique, a specialised fisheries project in villages around the Maputo Special Reserve and Ponta do Ouro Partial Marine reserves, trained farmers in tilapia production methods and assisted in setting up cultivating farms. In 2020, the farmers produced enough fish in Buthi Lagoon, Machangulo, to feed their families as well as sell at the local markets. In the same area, fishermen and women are being equipped and trained in the art of farming mussels on longlines.