Coming together: Key themes from Africa’s Food Systems Forum
This month, Glimmer participated in Africa’s Food Systems Forum in Kigali, Rwanda. Along with leaders from nonprofits, government agencies and funders across the African continent, we discussed innovative and holistic ways to end hunger.
We were inspired by speakers who posed questions and solutions to local and global issues related to agriculture and development. Here are some of the key themes of the conference and how they relate to Glimmer’s work:
- Focus on the entire food system, not just production. A holistic approach to improving food systems considers agriculture’s benefit to both people and planet. Glimmer’s regenerative pilot, supported by the IKEA Foundation, is an example of testing a circular food systems approach that is pro farmer, pro agriculture, and pro nature.
- Take time to listen. Thought leaders and funders shared examples of spending time in communities, listening to their needs and prioritizing what they require to improve their livelihoods and wellbeing. At Glimmer, we pride ourselves on being a deep listening organization that spends at multiple years in a community, working hand-in-hand with local stakeholders.
- Put farmers at the center of the dialogue to ensure their voices are heard. Farmers know the needs of their community and how to make use of local resources, which is why community-led development is at the heart of Glimmer’s work.
- Partnerships and coalitions are crucial for optimum impact. Our local partners in Ethiopia are key to our model’s success rooted in indigenous knowledge and local solutions.
- Women are leading the way for more resilient food systems. Although Ethiopian women in agriculture have been disproportionately affected by climate change, creating change in this space requires providing more women with equal access to resources and opportunities. Women farmers make up nearly half the rural workforce, but with unequal access to resources, women produce 24% less than men. We are prioritizing women in how we design and implement our agriculture work.