Investing in good nutrition for the wellbeing of southern African individuals will have a knock-on effect on the economy of the region, say food security researchers.
It is a well-known fact that women are the backbone of their communities and also play a key role in the economies of their countries. One woman who shares this sentiment is 52- year old Mmakgabatso Shale who has turned her company Eternity Foods into a community wealth-building model to empower other women.
Shamisa lives in a dry part of Zimbabwe. With few prospects for income, she relies on small scale farming to feed her family.
Food insecurity impacts 239 million Africans, and up to 40% of children under the age of five are chronically undernourished, which affects their survival, and cognitive and physical development.
According to Rainbow Tanks, South Africa uses an average of 235 litres of water daily per capita when compared to the 173 litres of water per capita in the world. While this number paints a grim picture, a function of high levels of non-revenue water and a high reliance on water-intensive coal-fired power plants for electricity are also some of the huge contributors to this crisis.
In order to develop products from indigenous resources and create new markets for them, it is important to empower women, farmers and relevant students with information which enables them to start thinking innovatively about food and food products. Business skills and scientific awareness as well as connections with food manufacturers can be of great help to these stakeholders.