The “WHO Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and
Health”adopted in 2004 by the World Health Assembly
(WHA) called on all – including governments, the private sector, and the civil society –
to take action at global, regional, and local levels to
support healthy diets and physical activity.
Recently I was watching the
rain fall in Lagos. I had to leave the work I was doing and step out of my office to
No, I am not a lay-
about. In fact, it was on a very
busy day. I don’t know if I was thinking as a scientist, a poet, or a prophet, but I was
thinking that rain is such a source of blessing.
For some, with flooded homes, lost property, or
disruption of life, that tropical
rain of West Africa may have seemed like a curse or may
have actually served a curse.
For those who can study the rain and think a bit, it can be
viewed as a source of
economic wealth, as good as crude oil or minerals, if not
more valuable. It is not everywhere in the world that
plants grow prolifically without anybody’s permission.
In fact, West
Africans, with their ample rain, sunlight, and fertile soil,
should be amongst the best fed people in the world, with
an undeniable potential for
massive employment and entrepreneurships in the food and agriculture industries.
Fortunately, many Africans in the private sector now see themselves as part of nation building and are not waiting for only the governments to create food and agricultural projects. A lot can be done by the private sector and by the numerous graduates of 126 Nigerian universities, for example.
The World Health Organization
Fact Sheet No 394 of
September 2014 suggests some steps to create a healthy food environment and these include: O increase incentives
for producers and retailers to grow, use and sell fruits and vegetables, make healthy product available and affordable.
Farming and agriculture can
be fun and fulfilling full time or part time jobs, hobbies, careers, or simply humanitarian services.
The field is a platform for scientific and technological
applications, innovation and
creativity, able to serve the aspirations and drives of many youthsand the
Sunlight, rain, soil, – all these resources that are undervalued or that have been neglected for too long can be great servants of blessing for those who think.
Harvesting, diverting, and utilizing rain water; soil and
development, exploitation of
solar power, are areas where many graduates can turn their knowledge into profit and at the same time help to create a good, healthy, thriving, food environment in Africa.
Dr. ‘Bola John is a biomedical
scientist based in Nigeria and in the USA.