More poor people and struggling families living in compromised places such as informal settlements are not able to grow their food because of restrictions while the main staple most people eat are heavily imported.
Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development Founder and CEO Sashi Kiran has highlighted this during World Food Day where the theme is Leave No One Behind.
She says there are a lot of restrictions on people being able to grow food in squatter communities, housing, and even the HART homes.
Kiran says in housing and even in HART homes in Lautoka, they have noticed people get fined if they grow their own vegetables and that is crucial for them to be able to be food secure and afford nutritious food.
She says that is why they depend on processed food which really impacts the nutrition security that has been recorded in the National Nutrition Survey Report.
Kiran says even though we are a country of abundance there is something massively not in place to ensure that everybody has food security.
She says we have very high levels of malnutrition and about 80% of our children below the age of 2 are anaemic and 50% of children below the age of 5 are also believed to be anaemic.
Kiran says that should be ringing alarm bells in terms of food and nutrition security and it seems we are leaving a lot of people behind. The FRIEND CEO says they have a couple of projects on the ground regarding food security as they have found out that people from the Yasawa Islands were coming over to the mainland to buy food.
Kiran says to combat this, they started gardening projects in the villages and schools and they have seen the massive changes brought about by it.
The CEO also says they have also had positive feedback from schools on how their health has improved.
She says most of the families in the west post-pandemic have been given seeds and seedlings which is encouraging them to grow their own food.
Kiran says they also continue to provide food for homes, orphanages that struggle to access good food, people that live on the streets, as well as those in the Daulomani Home.
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