SLU news

"I hope to learn how other people are addressing the changing realities in food production"

Published: 30 September 2021

On the second day of the three-day online conference Agri4D 2021, we met with one of the participants, Sylvia Imbuhila, a PhD student at Jomo Kenyatta University in Kenya. Here are her expectations and thoughts on the conference theme "Food systems for new realities".

Hi Sylvia, please tell us a little bit about your research.

- I am currently working within the Upscale project (upscaling push-pull*). The objective is to further intensify push-pull in smallholder systems. This will help address some of the most pressing farmers needs in western Kenya which are; to diversify income, diversify diets, diversity in resilient systems and fuelwood.

Why is it important to gather researchers and practitioners to discuss the conference theme “Food Systems for New Realities”?

- The food systems are generally changing rapidly and some of the causes include climate change, population dynamics, production systems and livelihoods and recently the pandemic. It is therefore important for researchers and practitioners to come together and discuss these issues. They form part of the major stakeholders in handling this reality of changing food systems and by attending this conference they also get opportunities for developing new partnerships.

Where do you see the greatest potential for transforming the global food system?

- I think the greatest potential is at production by ensuring resilient production systems. Processing and preservation are also critical to ensure food safety and reduce wastage. Moreover, well established value chains would be a great contributory factor.

What have you been looking forward to the most and what outcomes do you wish for from the Agri4D 2021 conference?

- I am looking forward to connecting with people, researchers especially who are working in my field or other, to further address the subject of food systems. I hope to learn how and what other people are doing to address the changing realities in food production in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Another key thing for me is to understand the interconnection and role of stakeholders such as researchers,institutions, funding agencies and other enterprises in transforming food systems.

Have your expectations been fulfilled so far? If so, how?

- So far my expectations has been met. Most of these were highlighted by the keynote speakers and further questions addressed by other presenters. Today's session on agroecology was the most enjoyable for me, it actually affirmed my work. The highlight being: its an overarching umbrella and applying ecological concepts and principles is important for ensuring sustainable and fair food systems. 

- I also got an opportunity to link up with someone working on a similar crop as mine during the coffee sessions which was great. 
Thank you and I am looking forward to the remaining sessions.

Thank you so much Sylvia! 

*This is a cropping system that reduces pest pressure by providing repellent stimuli (push), combined with attractive stimuli (pull). 

More information about Agri4D can be found here.

News artcicle about Agri4D from 28 September.