This article first appeared on the ONE Africa Blog
Today, ONE launches its most ambitious campaign yet -– Thrive: Food, Farming, Future. In Africa, this follows our pilot campaign “Hungry No More,” which culminated in a petition delivered on March 2, 2012 in Dar es Salaam to Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete, signed by more than 16,000 ONE members on the continent.
Millions of people die from hunger on the continent every year. In 2011, more than 30,000 children died in just three months due to the famine in the Horn of Africa alone. Millions more continue to be locked in the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. This year a staggering 178 million young children in the world will be stunted as a result of poor nutrition, their bodies and brains never fully recovering. The numbers are staggering.
A lot of the time we deal with symptoms of a deeper problem hoping it will go away. What we need is to deal with the root causes of hunger and poverty to make sure that these problems become history.
We need your voice to help us urge world leaders — African and donor governments alike — to put in place and fund well-tested and affordable plans for smart agriculture and nutrition. Thankfully, there is already a growing realization in many African communities of the need to go back to farming in order to lift themselves out of poverty. A couple of weeks ago, ONE’s Africa Team had the opportunity to visit a community in KwaZulu Natal (a province in South Africa) where local subsistence farmers said that all they required was assistance from government with the simplest of things, like fencing, farming implements and extension services. For them, the future is in farming and farming is cooler than being jobless in the city. How cool!
We also had the opportunity to speak with King Goodwill Zwelithini who called upon people in his kingdom to go back to farming and encouraged his chiefs as well as the government to assist people with this, while also calling upon African leaders to make agriculture a priority. Watch our short documentary in the player above.