Student Spotlight – Yussif Abdulai

How I can bring food security to my community

Food insecurity is of global concern due to the increasing human population. It is our mandate to increase the production and supply of quality agricultural produce. If care is not taken, then man will be left in a situation where we can no longer have access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food. Children, pregnant women, and lactating women are the most vulnerable in our community during an extreme food insecurity situation.

In 2018 over 37 million Americans including 11 million children were considered food insecure. This awareness strikes the minds of many nations to craft strategies to help address challenges that impede the process of attaining food security.

Before the advent of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, low productions of agriculture produce, food riots, increase in prices of commodities, climate change and growth of the human population were among the major causes of food insecurity especially in my country Ghana.

At the early phase of the pandemic with the increasing total number of the daily death toll and our limited comprehension of the mode of spread of the novel disease, countries were forced to go into total lockdown; shops, market centres, schools, transport network, factories were all closed. The level of food insecurity for every person in the world increased drastically on a daily basis with no exemption to Ghanaians. Philanthropies tried to reach out to every household, especially the needy, with the supply of daily meal and food produces to avert the situation. The lessons from this kind-hearted work showed that it was not a sustainable approach should the pandemic continue. It was now clear that the lives of men were in our very own hands (how do we find nutritious food to eat?).

The boredom associated with the lockdown strategy to mitigate the spread of the novel virus and the struggle for food led some Ghanaians to get involved in backyard farming. Mankind has been left with the lesson of the importance of farming. The spirit of our great fathers; ‘Operation Feed Yourself’ begins to inspire us.  

As people went into farming, they also sought out technical advice, and this is where I found myself in the story. I received a countless call from people seeking technical support in livestock farming. I was also invited to join the Rising Farmers Association WhatsApp group and I was so happy to share my experiences with the group. Through my network, I was able to help some farmers to market their products such as spent layers, eggs, and broiler chickens.  Through this outreach initiative, I am mentoring five start-up farms. The capacity of these farms’ ranges from 550 – 10,000 layers. I never felt I could be so helpful to my community to fight food insecurity until now. The lessons from this period has shown me that we need to spend quality time in solving the challenges of our community and this can go a long way to address a global issue.

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