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Cooking up better policies: celebrity chefs and policy makers visit P&S

September 2, 2015
CARE Learning Tour to Mozambique with American chefs Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Antonia Lofaso, and Spike Mendelsohn. Photo by Morgana Wingard

CARE Learning Tour to Mozambique with American chefs Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Antonia Lofaso, and Spike Mendelsohn. Photo by Morgana Wingard

A congressional delegation and a group of four celebrity chefs visited the Primeiras e Segundas program to see first hand how CARE’s interventions in Mozambique are helping to ensure food and nutrition security by combating global hunger, malnutrition and stunting. The visit was part of the CARE Learning Tours, which hosts high-level delegations to see the impact of U.S. investments on the ground.

Renowned chefs Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Antonia Lofaso and CARE Chef Ambassador Spike Mendelsohn were the first to arrive in the Primeiras e Segundas Protected Area, visiting a community in the estuary where they cooked with local female leaders and went fishing with a group of fishermen. At Omuive, off the coast of Angoche, the chefs learned about the negative effects of overfishing and how it is affecting the growing population, whose diets rely heavily on fish because of the limited access to farmland in the estuary. They also got to witness the positive interventions of the program, visiting the replenished mangroves and gathering sea snails with Azaliha Amisse, a 62-year-old mother of 12. Due to overfishing, women are playing a very active role in providing for their families by getting crabs, snails and other species from the mangroves. For women in Mozambique, it is much harder to get enough food for their children, so women’s empowerment is essential to ending hunger and ensuring nutrition. One of the objectives of the visit was understanding the vulnerability of women in the face of changing weather patterns and unpredictable raining cycles.

Sea snails from the mangroves

Sea snails from the mangroves

Cat Cora fishing for crabs Photo by Morgana Wingard

Cat Cora fishing for crabs Photo by Morgana Wingard

The next day, the chefs met with the congressional delegation at the Farmer Field School (FFS) of Mussuceia. The group of Senate Agriculture Committee staffers and members of the U.S. Administration had first traveled to Djibouti, where the visit was focused on food-aid distribution and the pivotal role Djibouti plays as a port for food distribution in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Chad, Somalia and Djibouti itself. In Mozambique, the visit was focused on building up food security through expanding agricultural productivity. At the FFS, the delegation toured the different plots and saw experiments as the members of the community explained what they have learned through the program. They also saw the adoption of the techniques that farmers are learning in the field of Faida Delfim, a mother of 6 who lives with her granddaughter.

Delegation and chefs meet the members of the FFS

Delegation and chefs meet the members of the FFS. Photo by Ilan Godfrey.

Faida, who is better known in the community as Mama FalaFala (Mother Talks Talks), has two different plots where she practices conservation agriculture.

Faida, who is better known in the community as Mama FalaFala (Mother Talks Talks), has two different plots where she practices conservation agriculture. Photo by Ilan Godfrey.

It is crucial to build the resilience and capacity of smallholder farmers, especially women. As the United States continues to be a leader in fighting global hunger, this capacity building needs to be expanded in order to guarantee food security to more than 795 million people who don’t have enough food to eat and the nearly 2 billion people who are malnourished. By meeting women farmers and leaders, the chefs and the congressional delegation now have clear faces to the numbers. Effective interventions that can improve agriculture systems are key. And now, when they hear about the 795 million people that don’t have enough food to eat, they will think of Faida Delfim and Azaliha Amisse and how they struggle every day to meet the needs of their families.

Carla Hall meeting Alima Assane in Omuive. Photo by Morgana Wingard

Carla Hall meeting Alima Assane in Omuive. Photo by Morgana Wingard

Arlene Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Child Nutrition Foundation. Photo by Ilan Godfrey.

Arlene Mitchell, Executive Director, Global Child Nutrition Foundation. Photo by Ilan Godfrey.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2015 12:26 am

    Would be nice to have more information about the environment, wildlife and what WWF, partner, is doing in the P&S, it seems that fishing with mosquito nets harms the small fishes, the future generation for the so called livelihood of the local people and for sea birds e.o wildlife and sealife.

    • September 21, 2015 3:08 pm

      Yes Fred. Mosquito nets take the small fish and the eggs, and not only the fish that have already grown. In addition to this, they release toxic chemicals in the water because they are treated to kill mosquitos.

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