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What's in Store for Food Security and Farming in 2022 - Episode 28

©IFAD/Christopher Neglia

This month’s episode is all about what lies ahead for the world of agriculture in 2022. We begin with a look back at the successes of 2021 with Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President for IFAD. We then find out how the UN Decade of Family Farming is helping small-scale farmers improve their incomes and livelihood. We also hear from First Wave, a group combining production and sustainability on fish farms in Uganda and Zambia.

Next, we fly to Tonga to hear how canoes are helping local communities fight climate change. Then it’s over to Africa, where we learn about a soil scanner technology helping farmers learn on-site about soil nutrients. And then we’re off to the Sicily Movie Festival, where we’ll hear the stories of small-scale farmers in the Near East and North Africa region.

Episode contents

  • A look back and a look ahead with Dr Jo Puri
  • Pierre Ferrand on the UN Decade of Family Farming
  • Tembwe Mutungu on sustainable fish farming
  • A new opportunity for ‘Eua Island, with Crystal Ake
  • Sara Kouakou on the power of stories
  • An update on AgroCares with Mukami Gitau
  • Summing Up

A look back and a look ahead with Dr Jo Puri

Dr Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President for IFAD

As we begin the new year, it’s good to review what went well over the last 12 months. Among the main events were the UN Food Systems Summit and, of course, COP26, which took place last November. Food security and climate change were top of the agenda in 2021, and we expect they’ll continue to be this year, too.

We discussed all of this and more with Dr Jo Puri, Associate Vice-President for IFAD. She joined us at the top of the show to review IFAD’s main successes in 2021. Later, she returned to discuss the growing finance gap in international development and how IFAD is preparing to address this challenge in 2022.

Pierre Ferrand on the UN Decade of Family Farming

More than 80 per cent of the world’s food is produced by family farms, yet they remain one of the most vulnerable parts of our global food systems.

The UN’s Decade of Family Farming is looking to change that. The Decade, launched in 2019, represents 10 years of actions dedicated to helping diverse, healthy and sustainable food systems flourish and to ensuring rural communities can enjoy a higher quality of life.

As we move in to 2022, it’s a good time to check in on the Decade’s progress. We spoke with Pierre Ferrand, FAO’s Regional Officer for Asia and the Pacific, to get the latest on how the situation in his region has evolved since the start of the project and how he plans to reach even more people as the Decade progresses.

Tembwe Mutungu on sustainable fish farming

FirstWave is a fish farming group with operations in Zambia and Uganda. The company is vertically integrated – that is, it works at multiple levels, from producing the food its fish eat to retailing them through its chain of shops. Its products are also sold throughout East and Southern Africa.

We sat down with Tembwe Mutungu, Co-CEO of FirstWave, to learn more about how the business works. Our conversation began with a discussion of how FirstWave manages to combine production and sustainability. He then rejoined us later in the show for a deeper dive into how the company cares for the health and welfare of its fish.

A new opportunity for ‘Eua Island, with Crystal Ake

Crystal Ake of MORDI Tonga Trust

‘Eua is one of 172 islands that make up the Tongan archipelago. Despite the picturesque surroundings, life here isn’t always idyllic: unemployment is high, and climate change is disrupting the fragile balance of natural resources.

Recently, islanders have begun to address these challenges by learning a new skill: canoe carving. The benefits are many: it provides employment for young islanders, brings in revenue, and offers a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to catch fish.

The canoe-building programme is currently operational on ‘Eua and several other islands. It’s run by the MORDI Tonga Trust, with funding from IFAD and the Government of Tonga.

We spoke with Crystal Ake, a representative of MORDI Tonga Trust, to learn more.

Sara Kouakou on the power of stories 

Back in the summer of 2021, IFAD’s Near East, North Africa and Europe Division (NEN) was one of the main sponsors of the Agrigento Film Festival, held in Sicily. As part of its sponsorship, NEN offered the COPEAM Award to films that feature stories from agricultural communities.

Sara Kouakou, a senior advisor to NEN, joined us to discuss how important it was for these stories, which often go untold, to reach a broader audience.

An update on AgroCares with Mukami Gitau

Mukami Gitau, Africa Business Development Manager at Agrocares


Declining soil fertility is an increasingly urgent problem around the world. But all too often, farmers don’t know exactly how to address it: lacking detailed information on their soil’s composition and nutrient status, they often choose fertilizers based on the advice of local suppliers or even on their own intuition. The resulting mismatch between applied and required nutrients often leads to stagnating yields and further environmental degradation.

In 2016, a company called AgroCares launched its Soil Scanner in Kenya. This handheld device facilitates quick and easy soil nutrition testing, with results that anyone can interpret.

For our second report on IFAD’s work with AGRA on South-South and Triangular Cooperation, we spoke with Mukami Gitau of AgroCares to learn more about their technology and the partnerships that make it possible.

Summing Up

Thanks to our producer Francesco Manetti and everyone else who’s worked on this programme.

But most of all, thanks to you for listening to this episode of Farms. Food. Future, brought to you by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Remember, we want to hear from you – what you think about our stories and the issues discussed, and who you want us to be talking to – so please get in touch at podcasts@ifad.org. Send us your voice or text messages to that address and we’ll be happy to play you out in the next show.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast via your favourite podcast platform – and please rate us!

Next month’s episode is all about International Women’s Day – we’ll be talking with gender-focused farm projects from around the world.