World Food Safety Day: Food crops production threatened in grass field

The 2023 edition of the World Food Safety Day (WFSD) was celebrated on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, under the theme “Food Standards Save Lives” as designated by the World Food Organization.

It is being observed to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect, and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agricultural production, market access, tourism, and sustainable development.

This day comes as the production of food crops is being threatened in the grass field. Inhabitants in the Babadjou subdivision in the Bamboutos division as in other parts of the grass field, who mainly rely on agriculture to survive, say they have been victims of climate change year in, year out which might lead to critical food crises in years ahead.

They have been victims of huge material damage after seeing their crops destroyed by the effects of desertification. Beans, corn, cabbages, tomatoes, and other food crops, mostly consumed by households, and exported to other parts of the country were completely destroyed this year as farmers went in to plant after the first rains in March this year.

“The beans I planted this year have been completely destroyed. I planted after the first rain which was in March and was expecting that rain will continue. To my greatest surprise, the dry season instead resurfaced,” Ma Pauline, a victim of climate change said. “I don’t know if I’ll have even a bucket of beans this year. Even the corn I planted is really in danger. ” she Pauline adds.

The normal planting season which in the past decades, used to be in the month of March is not the case these past years. The first rain at the beginning of March is now followed by weeks and sometimes months of sun. This gap between the first rain and the normal rainy season as noticed, has been increasing in recent years and some fear it might be a complete shift of season in the years to come. This might lead to a serious food crisis in the area and other parts of Cameroon, experts warned.

Gardeners on their part, especially those at the foot of Mount Bamboutos are used to applying irrigation methods to survive. At the peak of the dry season, they face a water crisis that directly leads to food crises in the area.

According to the World Health Organization, every year, 600 million people get sick due to the 200 different types of illnesses that can be transmitted by food. Young people and populations with limited resources are among the most affected. Foodborne illnesses cause 420,000 preventable deaths every year.

Source: Cameroon News Agency