Food security training at Chifuchambewa

What is food security? Well, if you ask "what's for dinner?", and what you mean is "should we eat spaghetti or rice?"; "lamb or fish?"; "potatoes: baked or mashed?", then you have food security. But if "what's for dinner?" means "where will we find our next meal?", that's food insecurity. 

There are food insecure people all over the world. That is except perhaps in Antarctic. I would imagine that at scientific bases in Antarctic no one is worried about what to eat. Even if there is a disaster that cuts them off from resupply, surely there is a back up pantry that lasts a few months or more. What's the point of all this? It takes so much planning and preparation to live on the frozen continent that the crews who make the journey come prepared with enough food. That's what food security requires: so much planning and preparation.

When teaching farmers about food security in their household, we ask them to imagine they are planning a journey. What would they need to bring? Enough food or money to last them the entire length of the stay. Well, its the same when you are staying at home. You need to plan for each day, month, year so that you have enough food to get you through. You need enough for everyday life, and for emergencies. You need seeds to plant and replenish reserves before they are depleted.

Farmers at Chifuchambewa came in large numbers to discuss food security and pick up some new tools to help them plan for the future. This community produces enough to be food secure, but the food is not available at the right time. This can all change in just a single season if farmers reserve food for lean months.