One world without poverty, hunger and malnutrition
Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.
This is my hometown where my mother's father originates. I am therefore a son of the community and I am in good relationship with the chiefs and people of this community. I have already engaged the leadership of this community about our vision and our ideas. The leadership (chiefs and opinion leaders) met and discussed the idea and the community is willing and ready to fully participate. Our vision for this community is therefore feasible.
Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.
Sasekpe is a small village precisely located in the Central Tongu District in Volta Region. It is about 174 km from Accra. Its geographical coordinates are 6° 16' 0" North, 0° 37' 0" East.The total population of the district is 59,411 people however the inhabitants of Sasekpe community are estimated to be about 4 thousand people. The inhabitants are Ewe speaking Mafi people of the Volta Region. Their man occupation is farming. And the major crops produced in this area are Cassava (Starchy root crop) and Maize. Other crops such as Cowpea, Pepper and Okro are minor crops. The inhabitants are mainly subsistence farmers. The people of this village celebrate the "Gari Za" which is mainly because of their focus on Cassava production and processing into Gari a product which is consumed globally by Africans in Africa, and wherever they may be. Due to the high starch content of the diets of these people the children are prone to the challenges of unbalanced diets in most cases. There is a Health Centre in this locality however there are no hospitals, libraries, public toilets for easy access. The infrastructure of this community is deplorable and needs a lot of attention by development agencies. Recently there was a publication which highlighted how inaccessible the health centre was for the populace https://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2019/October-9th/waterlogged-mafi-sasekpe-health-centre-in-the-volta-region-inaccessible.php
Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.
Currently, the vulnerable population of women and children in this community are threatened by food and nutritional security and the underlying factors are mainly due to lack of employment opportunities, inequalities, low educational level and these challenges are expected the worsen in the coming years. Data on this communities are very hard to come by since very little information is available. Research and more studies are needed to be conducted to make data available on all the indicators needed to access the status of inhabitants of this locality. By 2050 the population is expect to more than double and would require more food to feed and maintain good health and well being in this community.
Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.
Business, as usual, cannot lead us to meet the SDG Agenda in 2030. More radical and concerted efforts are required and leaders must be willing to make bold decisions to push the continent out of the grip of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. It is against this backdrop that Income Food and Nutrition Security Africa (IFaNSA Limited, a social enterprise based in Ghana) will lead the development of this uncommon collaboration with Beacons Multimedia Ltd (a UK based IT business), a University in Ghana and GUDRA (a Technology firm in Ghana focused on solving humanity and Africa's Grand Challenges using Artificial Intelligence and Exponential Technologies). The key objective of the project is to Improve food systems in Sasekpe community with the help of novel and emerging innovations and technologies; the project contributes to the transformation of the food systems with 21st-century innovations ("leapfrog development") in order to sustainably (both economic and environmental) enable food security with a focus on agro-biodiversity delivering diverse, healthy and nutritious food.
High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.
The consortium will support the setting-up of community-owned farms (COF) where land is granted by the Chiefs; inputs are supplied by IFaNSA through donors; technical expertise and market linkages are built and the resulting profits are shared (30% Consortium: 15% Chiefs: 30%COF: 25%Community+VulnerableGroups) equitably for sustainability. The community will become more resilient and the poor and vulnerable will be supported based on the profitability of the programmes. The incomes of the inhabitants will be increased and many people will benefit immensely. Jobs will be created for the youth. Food and nutrition security will be greatly improved as the cultivated crops will provide good source of nutrition to members.
Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?
Business, as usual, cannot lead us to meet the SDG Agenda in 2030. More radical and concerted efforts are required and leaders must be willing to make bold decisions to push the continent out of the grip of poverty, hunger and malnutrition. It is against this backdrop that Income Food and Nutrition Security Africa (IFaNSA Limited, a social enterprise based in Ghana) will lead the development of this uncommon collaboration with Beacons Multimedia Ltd (a UK based IT business), a University in Ghana and GUDRA (a Technology firm in Ghana focused on solving humanity and Africa's Grand Challenges using Artificial Intelligence and Exponential Technologies). The key objective of the project is to Improve food systems in Sasekpe community with the help of novel and emerging innovations and technologies; the project contributes to the transformation of the food systems with 21st-century innovations ("leapfrog development") in order to sustainably (both economic and environmental) enable food security with a focus on agro-biodiversity delivering diverse, healthy and nutritious food. The unique approach is to develop an Internet-Based Interactive Platform (IBIP) for the conceptualization, development, testing, deployment, promotion and adoption of cutting edge scientific innovations and technologies that support value chain actors of key product commodities (mainly crop based) and leading to the development of new projects, investments and opening of markets to the people of a community at a time. Such a platform will support training, capacity building, research and sustainable development projects aimed at addressing the key bottlenecks in the food systems with livelihood (income, food and nutrition security) impacts expected for vulnerable groups (women, children and the disadvantaged populations). The consortium of experts of this project is focused on delivering ground-breaking outcomes in a scalable manner through the development of scalable financial and equitable profit-sharing models for the establishment of community-owned farms that are directly linked to stable markets or sustainable value addition chains aimed at building resilience into each community for ownership and sustainability.
The scope of this project is to develop a model for building sustainable models of resilience into communities through the establishment of community farms in Africa starting with one community at a time focused on cultivating orphan annual crops, rearing animals supporting the development of value chains and the integration of smallholders into global and local supply chains/markets. Farmers and producers engaged on the digital platforms will be introduced to new sustainable technologies for increasing productivity through the use of improved seeds, hybrids, the control of crop pests, weeds, diseases (GUDRA's KARAgro app for early disease detection and prevention using AI-powered drone and advanced imaging systems) and post-harvest management as well as using cutting edge technologies for seed storage that increases the viability of seeds. The digital platforms for stakeholder engagements will be used to help actors in the value chains to discuss critical issues concerning the issue of fake seeds, poor seeds, availability and accessibility of inputs (technology, human resources, financial, legal and technical resources) for meeting quality standards and improving productivity. The digital platforms will support efforts aimed at reducing food losses especially after harvest and throughout the entire value chain as it will make communication among stakeholders effective and efficient. Food quality and safety issues through the value chain will be topical on the digital platform to be established. Colleagues shall be engaged through consultative processes to actively participate on the platform by raising key issues for discussion on the platform. New food product development for industrial use and demand-driven product conceptualisation and development for commercialization will be actively promoted through a competitive process where Students and Faculty will be challenged to compete for prizes and the industry, consumers, financiers and market actors will be made judges for the competition. Our project covers many themes and addresses many challenges in even downstream food production, processing, distribution, or storage and value addition since the provision of a digital platform will allow the discussion of innovations and their adoption to support food systems to deliver nutritious, healthy and safe food in Sasekpe and other localities in Ghana and when successful scaled out to other neighbouring countries for testing, deployment and promotion.
Food insecurity, poverty and malnutrition are injustices against humanity and should not be allowed in any form. It is totally absurd that the World looks on helplessly for these injustices to continue after all the human rights acts, laws and documentations that abhor such violations. However, many efforts have been made to address these issues, but in sub-Saharan Africa, the case is worsening. Drastic measures that tackle the problems head-on are therefore a must as indirect approaches with little impact cannot be the way forward. IFaNSA and the consortium put together on this project are fully committed to the fight against these injustices. Recognizing that incomes of poor, vulnerable and marginalized across our communities are the direct levers that must be used to raise their standards of living in order to improve upon all the other livelihood parameters for securing the basic necessities of life which are water, food, fodder, medicine, shelter and clothing.