The 27th World Climate Conference (COP27) hosted by Egypt has put agricultural and food issues at the forefront of the international agenda, given that the sector accounts for 22% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions according to the latest IPCC report.
The debates highlighted the importance of agricultural production to ensure global food security and its vulnerability to climate change. As a reminder, in 2022, the United Nations stated the existence of the first famine related to global warming in the extreme south of Madagascar.
In this alarming context, this event led to a declaration on the intensification of the agricultural sector’s measures in favor of adaptation to climate change and reduction of GHG emissions.
The impact of climate change on the agricultural sector and on food security
Climate change is affecting agricultural production systems (lower yields, soil degradation, volatility, and higher prices for basic foodstuffs, etc.). This has a direct impact on food security , particularly in regions of the world already affected by food insecurity.
More specifically, in 2021, according to the global network against food crises, the increase in severe food insecurity has been driven mainly by: :
- Conflicts affecting more than 139 million people;
- Economic shocks affecting more than 30 million people (mainly due to COVID-19 pandemic);
- Extreme weather events affecting over 23 million people.
Climate change is thus a driver of the threats already hanging over the food security of countries. Without any action by 2080, 600 million more people could go hungry.
The challenges of famine, malnutrition, and undernutrition
Famine, malnutrition or undernutrition lead to serious health, social and economic damage and affect more violently some categories of the population including:
- Children with stunted growth, disease or brain damage caused by hunger. In the world, 45% of the deaths of children under 5 years old are linked to malnutrition and childhood diseases (source: Action Contre la Faim);
- Girls and women are the first ones to feed themselves less to ensure the survival of their families. In addition, severe hunger increases risks during pregnancy and childbirth.
According to the IPCC report, West Africa is expected to experience:
- Annual surface temperatures above the global average with potentially lethal heat days up to 100-250 days per year for global warming of 2.5°C, with higher increases in coastal areas;
- Decreased rainfall in the west and increased rainfall in the east with a reduction in the duration of the rainy season duration in the western Sahel (under 1.5°C and 2°C global warming levels) with more frequent and intense flooding events;
- A drier and more arid climate, with an increase in the frequency and duration of droughts of about 2 to 4 months in the western Sahel in the event of global warming of more than 3°C.
These expected climate changes make traditional agricultural practices less resilient. Specifically, according to IFAD’s What can smallholder farmers grow in a warmer world report, average agricultural yields would decline by 13% in West Africa under the most pessimistic climate change scenario. Thus, even the most heat-stress– resistant crops (such as millet and sorghum) will experience a yield decline of 5% to 8% by 2050, while the least resistant crops (such as rice and wheat) will experience drops of 12% to 21%.
Thus, compared to the period 1986-2005, global warming of 3°C should reduce the work capacity in agriculture by 30 to 50% in Sub-Saharan Africa, whereas this sector currently represents more than half of the employment in the area (source: World Bank).
Improving the nutrition of populations towards food resilience
In order to fight against food insecurity triggered by climate change, Kinomé is committed to sustainable and resilient agriculture.
To this end, and now for more than 10 years, Kinomé has been involved in the deployment and structuring of the moringa sector in Togo and Madagascar, deeply convinced that this plant plays a key role in the fight against food insecurity, environmental problems and socio-economic development.
With a territorial and integrated strategy of production, distribution, and consumption, Kinomé’s approach aims at improving the living conditions of the communities, in particular through better nutrition.
Overview of Moringa
Originally from India, Moringa Oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is widespread in all subtropical regions.
Traditionally known for its medicinal virtues, especially antiseptic, and for its nutritional virtues, research has shown that the moringa sector has two main advantages:
- Production which allows the reinforcement of the vegetation cover and the improvement of the farmers’ incomes;
- Consumption that improves the nutritional status of consumers, especially children.
Source: The impact of Moringa oleifera leaf supplementation on human and animal nutrition, growth, and milk production: A systematic review, S. Brar, C. Haugh, N. Robertson, P. Mbullo Owuor, C. Waterman, G. J. Fuchs III, S. Labib Attia, 2021
The nutritional benefits of Moringa
At equivalent weight, the moringa contains:
|Fresh leaves||Moringa powder|
|4 times more Vitamin C than in oranges||16 times more Vitamin C than in oranges|
|As much Potassium as in bananas||4 times more Potassium than in bananas|
|2 times more Vitamin A than in carrots||9 times more Vitamin A than in carrots|
|As much Iron as in lentils||4 times more Iron than in lentils|
|4 times more Calcium than in milk||15 times more Calcium than milk|
|4 times more Protein than in milk||7 times more Protein than in milk|
Kinome’s integrated solution in Togo
According to World Bank data, in Togo, nutritional needs are proven with:
- 54% of pregnant women with anemia prevalence;
- 24% of children under the age of 5 are malnourished.
In order to improve the living conditions of the local populations, Kinomé coordinates an integrated project going from the plantation of moringa to its consumption in two school canteens.
The little extra
An integrated approach is a participatory planning and implementation process aiming at defining a long-term vision of all the economic, social and environmental development activities of a territory.
- At the production and transformation level
Since 2016, Kinomé has supported the Moringa cooperative PROSCOMO (Producteurs en Société de Coopérative de Moringa au Togo) in its activity of production and transformation of dried Moringa leaves into powder. This activity enables to increase in farmers’ income and supports women’s employment. In 2021, this support allowed PROSCOMO to be certified under the organic and fair-trade regimes and to sell its products internationally.
- In terms of consumption
Since 2017, more than 380,000 meals have been distributed, up to 5 meals per week, fortified with moringa to children aged between 2 and 12 years old in the schools of Amavénou and Wonougba-Séva.
This project is implemented thanks to the involvement of principals, teachers’ groups and canteen mothers who dedicate several hours to the cooking and distribution of meals to children. In order to promote the sustainability of the approach, the communities are the stakeholders in the project by forming management committees and actively participating in the project.
To better know actors in Togo, retrouvez le documentaire tackling the root causes of malnutrition : The Moringa Story
After the proof of a successful model, it is time for Kinomé to scale up!
Since qualitative methods having been tested and approved (HACCP standard), Kinomé now wishes to deploy its model to allow the greatest number of people to benefit from moringa.
To reach the objective of scaling up, Kinomé relies on three actions:
- Scaling up for the supply side: Supporting industrial and agricultural investors to develop the moringa supply chain;
- Scaling up for the demand: To bring out the needs of canteens and health centers through the dissemination and reinforcement of scientific results;
- Responses to appeals in humanitarian emergencies, particularly in the case of famines.
And you, would you like to get involved with Kinomé to fight against food insecurity and invests in an impact project ?