Increased food production needed to secure food security

06 Feb 2015 13:10pm
OKAHANDJA, 06 FEB (NAMPA) – Inadequate technical capacity within government to analyse and report on findings in the food security sector is a major constraint.
This is the view of Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Samuel Nuuyoma, who said this trend is more worrisome in the area of food and nutrition monitoring.
Nuuyoma made the remarks in a speech delivered on his behalf by Okahandja Urban Constituency Councillor Steve Biko Booys during the Food and Nutrition Security Monitoring meeting held here on Thursday.
It was held to review the strategic plans which would enable Namibia to establish its own food and nutrition security monitoring system so as to enable the country to monitor trends and pick up emerging issues related to food and nutrition.
The governor said quality operational food and nutrition monitoring systems in the country will help build technical capacity within the government to effectively coordinate existing systems, analyse data and generate information products useful for early detection or warning and evidence-based decision- making.
Concerted efforts and enhanced collaboration and partnerships among all stakeholders are therefore imperative for sustainable food and nutrition security and the well-being and livelihoods of the Namibian people.
He noted that Namibia has not been spared from the negative impacts of recurrent natural disasters such as floods and droughts on the livelihoods of vulnerable communities.
Disasters have over the years thus increased the communities’ risk to food insecurity, eroded people's coping capacities and significantly reduced their resilience.
“It is imperative that we strengthen our monitoring capabilities in order to detect and track changes in people's food and nutrition security situations over time and space.
This should enable us to alert our governments and partners when a situation deteriorates, and ensure that assistance is provided in a timely and appropriate way,” Nuuyoma said.
Dr Shapaka Kapolo, who represented the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN), said hosting such types of discussions is not the ultimate solution to food security as stakeholders should ponder on food production as well.
He said efforts should rather be made to increase food production in Namibia by addressing some of its limiting effects like drought or floods, and finding ways to increase plantations.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS), Regional Councils, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) and the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).