We need a paradigm shift about food security
THOMAS Sankara had established an organisation called Terres Vivantes – Thomas Sankara. Among its objectives was a need for the re-evaluation of rural life, family farming and food sovereignty.
We celebrated Child Protection Week last week at a time when the abuse of children had reached alarming proportions.
It pains us as mothers to see our children, whom we love so much, being subjected to all these kinds of abuses by people they trusted so much.
Violence has long-lasting consequences for children.
Differences between couples will always be there but children should not become casualties in the process.
You cannot prevent a wife or lover from divorcing you by threatening to kill the child.
Again, women who give birth and dump their babies in the dustbins are disgusting to say the least.
Let me also highlight and emphasise that children do not deserve to go hungry because the mother had gambled with the child support grant or the father forcefully demanded the money to go and buy alcohol.
When a child is born it represents hope and a better life in future. Now the government has since realised that some children are unable to perform to their abilities as a result of hunger at school.
As a remedy the national school nutrition programme has since been rolled out to schools, popularly known as feeding schemes.
However, this is not enough as it only caters for children during school hours. Parents still have responsibilities to support their children beyond school. As the government, we have learnt with shock cases of people stealing and selling food meant for schoolchildren.
As a way of protecting children against possible malnutrition, parents are hereby encouraged to have backyard gardens where they plough vegetables such as spinach, beans, sweet potatoes and cabbages. These should be an integral part of every meal in the house. The benefits thereof include kids who grow up healthily on a balanced diet.
It will not be a show of love when we allow our children to frown at these vegetables and insist on processed foods and fatty takeaways. If we allow them to pick and choose as they wish, we cannot win the war against obesity. We will have to part with a lot of money in future for treating diseases we could have prevented during infant stages of our children.
Last year we experienced drought in some parts of the province. Part of the strategies we need to devise is to learn to save for rainy days.
Having just celebrated Child Protection Week, let us also teach our children that water is a scarce commodity and must be used wisely.
I agree with Sankara that his country produced enough to feed them all.
Alas, for lack of organisation, they were forced to beg for food aid.
It’s aid that instils in our spirits the attitude of beggars in a country of abundant food.
WRITE TO US Parents should plant backyard gardens
MEC of Agriculture and Rural Development in Limpopo