Jacque NjonjoJacque Njonjo leads an illustrious career in the agricultural sector spanning over 20 years, inspired by her father who is a coffee expert himself. She currently heads IFC’s Food Safety Advisory as the Africa Lead. Access to safe food is a basic human right, she is passionate about food safety, especially in Africa, and strives to support all the work in making this a reality for the continent. She considers some of her greatest achievements to be the strides and developments that have been made in assuring food safety over the years. In this exclusive interview with Cropin, Jacque shares with us her recommendations for a more food-secure tomorrow as well as her perspective on how technology can be utilized to ensure sustainability and inclusive development in the agriculture sector.
While several organizations are focussing on empowering smallholder farmers with information, services, and inputs to ensure better food security globally, one of the challenges that these remotely-located farmers face is access to infrastructure — be it cold storage facilities, warehouses, adequate irrigation systems, or even telecommunications. This has, on numerous occasions, led to significant post-harvest losses. What can governments, NGOs, and private enterprises do to improve this situation, which will consequently contribute towards ensuring reduced food insecurity and better economic gains for the farmers?
When we consider partnerships between private and public sector organizations, what role do you think technological innovations play in aiding in connecting the different actors and ensuring a smooth flow of information between the concerned actors? What are the possibilities for technology in the near future?
What are the different ways global organizations can support the sustainable use of land, water, and other resources needed for agriculture?
- Scarcity resulting from the increasing competition;
- Unsustainable land and water management:
- Low levels of domestic crop production; and,
- Inadequate international corporation.
Marginalized farmers manage small areas of land and yet contribute significantly to the global agriculture output. However, a lack of inclusive development often limits them from tapping into the enormous potential that agriculture offers them in terms of socioeconomic growth. In your opinion, how can the various actors in the agroecosystem contribute to ensuring these farmers can achieve optimal output?
Industries around the world are switching to more technologically-driven ecosystems, especially now to overcome the challenges posed by the global pandemic. What trends do you foresee in the agroecosystem with respect to the application of advanced technologies in food production?
How do you think artificial intelligence and machine learning are revolutionizing the food supply chain? What does the immediate future look like for increased food safety compliance using technology?