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Investing in Food in the Time of Coronavirus - Episode 7

We begin this month’s programme with an update on IFAD's operations and on investing in food during the time of coronavirus. We also have news on nutrition and development with IFAD’s Joyce Njoro. And we hear from two of Africa’s most prominent chefs, Chef Ali L’artiste and Chef Ska Moteane, who’ve been out and about visiting IFAD projects in their region.

We’ve got more news about IFAD’s work in forestry, with a look at Morocco in particular. We also hear from Chris Smaje, a champion of smallholder farming in developed countries. And two of IFAD’s Recipe for Change chefs – prominent Senegalese Chef Pierre Thiam and Michelin-starred Chef Cristina Bowerman – check in to share some news on why IFAD’s work is so important at this time, along with some easy and nutritious #stayathome recipes.

Episode Contents

Working smarter to confront COVID-19

Donal Brown, IFAD’s Associate Vice President

COVID-19 is having a huge impact on the world’s health – and on the global economy. Even as this crisis digs deep, we still rely on the agriculture sector to keep up food supplies and remain productive. IFAD’s Associate Vice President Donal Brown told us how the Fund is working smarter to face up to the coronavirus challenge. 

Are insects the protein of the future?

Joyce Njoro, IFAD’s Lead Technical Specialist on Nutrition

Our reporter Mara Sgroi met up with Joyce Njoro, IFAD’s Lead Technical Specialist on Nutrition, to get her opinion about the recent EAT-Lancet report on healthy diets and food systems. The report presents a fact-based scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet in the context of sustainable food systems.

Chef Ska Moteane visits the Wool and Mohair Promotion Project in Lesotho

Ska Moteane, Lesotho’s leading chef

Ska Moteane is a renowned chef, cookbook author and entrepreneur in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

Chef Ska first came to fame after winning a Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best African Cookbook in 2012. She specializes in traditional local cuisine that promotes healthy eating by using local produce. She also supports IFAD’s Recipes for Change campaign.

Recently, she visited the Wool and Mohair Promotion Project in her native Lesotho. This IFAD-supported project is designed to boost resilience among poor rural people across the country through better livestock and rangeland management and improved handling and marketing strategies for wool and mohair fibres.

On our website, you can also find a nutritious recipe from Chef Ska and the community we’re working with in Lesotho.

Promoting African cuisine with Chef Ali L’artiste

Ali L’artiste, Kenyan chef

Ali Said Mandhry, more commonly known as Chef Ali L’artiste, is a Kenyan chef and media personality. He began cooking and baking early in life (by age 12, he was already selling cakes to his fellow students) but his big break came when he worked with celebrity Chef Osama El-Sayed on Dubai TV. He has since been named among the top five chefs of African cuisine.

Currently, Chef Ali owns L’artiste Pastry Factory and is a representative of the Kenyan Chefs Association, as well as a frequent guest on radio and television. He is passionate about promoting African cuisine.

And because of that, he is also a passionate supporter of IFAD’s work in the region. Through his work with IFAD, Chef Ali has visited projects in Rwanda and closer to home in Kenya. You can find out more about what he cooked in each place – and even download the recipes to cook them at home, as well as find more recipes for inspiration – in the Recipes for Change section of our website.

Pierre Yves Guedez on the connection between reforestation and food security

Pierre Yves Guedez, IFAD’s Senior Technical Specialist on International Climate Trust Funds

Could you earn more from carbon offsets than from traditional farming practices? And if you could, what effect would it have on food security?

IFAD isn’t in the carbon credit market, but we do work with forests. We recently had a conversation with Pierre Yves Guedez, our Senior Technical Specialist on International Climate Trust Funds, about our work in reforestation and other forestry issues.

Increasing productivity (and bolstering sustainability credentials) in Morocco

Naoufel Telahigue, IFAD’s Country Programme Manager for Morocco

IFAD supports Morocco’s Rural Development Programme in the Mountain Zones, a project designed to improve living conditions for people living in areas where climate change has caused erosion and desertification.

We recently sat down with Naoufel Telahigue, our Country Programme Manager for Morocco. He spoke with us about the central role that reforestation has played in the project, and also about some of the other measures that have been put in place for communities in Morocco that are increasing their productivity – and bolstering their credentials as sustainable operations.

Chris Smaje’s upcoming book A Small Farm Future

Originally an academic, Chris Smaje eventually tired of the office life and found himself inspired by the permaculture movement. He wanted to create a sustainable way of life that cared for the environment – but he had no prior background in farming. Now, he is something of a champion of the smallholder farming lifestyle. He spoke with us about his work from his Somerset, England farm.

His book A Small Farm Future will be released later in the year. You can keep up with all his latest news on his blog of the same name.

#stayathome recipes with Chefs Cristina Bowerman and Pierre Thiam

Chef Cristina Bowerman

As the world adjusts to life with COVID-19, we’re asking our Recipes for Change chefs to check in from across the globe – and to share some world-class recipes that you can make with ingredients you’ve already got in your home cupboard.

Through her work with IFAD, Michelin-starred Italian Chef Cristina Bowerman knows full well that many farmers in developing countries are already living on the front lines of climate change – and now they must contend with the added threats to their health and the knock-on economic effects brought by the global coronavirus pandemic.

In this segment, Chef Bowerman shares a special message about IFAD’s work – and a delicious #stayathome recipe.

Chef Pierre Thiam

We also had our friend and fellow Recipes for Change Chef Pierre Thiam dropping in with a message of his own – and more #stayathome recipes. You never knew one could do so much with beans and chickpeas – so we’re off to try that out.

For the past five years, IFAD’s Recipes for Change chefs have been visiting IFAD projects on the ground to raise awareness of how IFAD is working with farmers to build a resilient future. And as Chefs Bowerman and Thiam remind us, IFAD is continuing its support for these farmers even as the current situation unfolds – it’s more important now than ever. 

We’d love to hear from you – and get some of your own recipe ideas to share with the Farms. Food. Future. community. Leave us a comment here or drop us a line at podcasts@ifad.org.