Delivering protected meals for higher well being begins from the farm to the plate

Meshack Nyambane inspects beans at his farm in Birongo, Kisii County. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

World Meals Security Day was celebrated yesterday. This yr’s theme, “Safer meals, higher well being” highlights the function protected dietary meals performs in guaranteeing human well being and well-being and requires a set of particular actions to make meals safer.

Meals security begins on the farm and ends with the buyer. Aligning interventions alongside the commodity worth chain ensures that meals is produced and processed in a clear and wholesome surroundings, thus guaranteeing the customers a nutritious diet.

The Pan Africa Bean Analysis Alliance (PABRA) developed the Bean Hall Method to resolve challenges alongside the bean worth chain from manufacturing to consumption. Our analysis on beans has led to the discharge of 33 bean varieties in Kenya to make sure the beans produced are of excessive dietary content material, are acceptable by the customers and markets, are climate-smart and produced beneath protected circumstances. 

Beans are liable to illnesses akin to rust, anthracnose, root rots, Bean Widespread Mosaic Virus (BCMV) and Bean Widespread Mosaic and Necrotic Virus (BCMNV), angular leaf spot, and blights, amongst others. PABRA works with the Kenya Agricultural Analysis and Livestock Organisation (KALRO) to develop bean varieties which can be tolerant to a variety of pests and illnesses. For instance, the varieties KK8 and KK194 had been bred for root rot resistance, a significant illness drawback within the western Kenya area.

Planting seeds contaminated by illness might result in full crop failure. Such additionally calls for in depth use of agrochemicals to manage the illness within the discipline. The illness drawback will be minimised by rising disease-free seeds. During the last 10 years, the variety of seed firms dealing in bean seed has elevated from two to seven and consists of Agriscope (previously East Africa Seed), Kenya Seed Firm, Bubayi Seeds, Western Seed Firm, Dryland Seed Restricted in Machakos, SeedCo, amongst others. Through the use of clear seeds, the chance of illness incidences is lowered that means that using agrochemicals can be minimised.

A wholesome plant can develop stronger and defend itself from pests and illness assaults. Farmers can undertake Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to make sure wholesome crops and decrease the chance of contaminating produce with harmful pathogens or agrochemicals. By following GAPs, from discipline preparation by means of harvest and advertising and marketing, the chance of contaminating produce will be enormously lowered.

PABRA has invested in coaching the bean producers to undertake built-in crop administration and built-in pest and illness administration practices that advocate for constructing numerous and resilient techniques to drought, pest, and illnesses. The important thing to a pest and disease-free farm is farm hygiene the place the farm is stored weed-free and on the proper crop density and spacing.

With altering local weather, well timed planting might help evade antagonistic climate that predisposes beans to illness assault. It will possibly additionally assist evade durations of excessive pest and illness assaults on beans. Selling soil well being enchancment ensures beans are wholesome and in a position to combat off pest and illness assaults. Different points embrace crop diversification, rotation and intercropping to reap the benefits of pure repellants and bodily boundaries for insect management.

A major proportion of meals contamination and loss occurs throughout post-harvest dealing with and storage. This may be from the chance of moulds and contamination from grain preservation chemical substances. Meals security should begin from the sector with good agricultural practices that reduce chemical contamination within the remaining saved grain.

Reaching meals security and wholesome diets is our collective accountability. As we have a good time World Meals Security Day, we be part of the world in advocating for protected and wholesome diets for all. Allow us to guarantee manufacturing to consumption is completed in a protected and wholesome method.