BY LUCKY IHANZA
International Youth Day is commemorated every year on August 12 to raise awareness about the challenges and problems faced by the youth, and to endorse ways of engaging the youth to more actively participate in affirmative contributions to development. This year, the theme is, “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health,” and the aim is to highlight the indisputable fact that the success of such a global effort is not achievable without the significant contributions of the youth.
As world’s population (currently at 7.7 billion people) has been estimated to increase by 2 billion people in 2050; as young people have continued to play a key role in the management of, and recovery from, the pandemic; as the world suffers other crucial challenges like biodiversity conservation and mitigation of climate change; and with over half of the world’s population under age 30; experts and stakeholders are of the opinion that to ensure ‘human and planetary wellbeing’, there is an urgent need to move away from simply producing a larger volume of healthier food more sustainably, to exploring other options of transforming foods systems for the benefit of humans and the planet.
According to the World Economic Forum, a third of all food produced and the natural resources involved in its production are wasted. “We produce enough food but nearly 1 in 10 people still don’t have sufficient to eat and 3 billion cannot afford a healthy diet. At the same time, we