Agriculture and Food Security

The agricultural development and food security shall be trapped into a vicious circle where the poor nutrition led to low physical activity of labor force in agricultural productivity. Poor nutrition and under nutrition shall create a knock-on effect on economic development. Researches have proved that malnutrition and poor nutrition of the children during the first 1000 days of life create long-lasting and irreversible consequences into adulthood including stunted brains and stunted nation, a result of lower education, productivity and poor health of its labor forces. Ultimately, let us agree with this statement of United Nations saying that ” Heath is a precondition for, an outcome and indicator for all dimensions of sustainable development” (United Nations, the Future we want, 2012). The ensuring of food security of the population is the beginning of health security.

EAC 2050 vision pointed out severe consequences of food insecurity on the health of children and mothers, the development of agriculture and other sectors. The document of EAC Vision 2050 emphasized the facts that the malnourished mothers are at a greater risk of dying in childbirth and of delivering low-birth-weight babies who fail to survive infancy. Undernourished babies who make it through infancy often suffer stunting that cripples and shortens their lives. Subsequently, they transfer the broad economic disadvantages of malnutrition in their own lives to the next generation, thereby perpetuating the vicious cycle of low human development and destitution. (EAC Vision 2050, August 2015).


Malnutrition is a great challenge in EAC partner States in general and in Burundi in particular according the recent reports of World Food Program and FAO. For many people, having access to nutritious and safe food to achieve their physical and cognitive potential and ensure economic productivity is critical. Under nutrition or malnutrition is the cause of more than one-third of under-five mortality in the world (World Health Organization, 2012). Undernourishment is still a key barrier to development in many developing countries of EAC at different levels. In fact, an inadequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals exacerbates the situation. Besides negative individual and social impacts, hunger and undernourishment also have serious economic consequences for entire states and regions. It is due to the deficiencies in energies, proteins and micronutrients (high energy rates of infections to the problems of overweight). Anemia is associated with increased risk of maternal mortality. Iron deficiency anemia is the most prevalent micronutrient deficiency that reduces work capacity of individuals and entire populations, with serious consequences for the economy and national development. (World Health Organization, 2012). Stunting is the result of long-term nutritional deprivation and often results in delayed mental development, poor school performance, and reduced intellectual capacity. 

(World Health Organization, 2012). Childhood obesity is associated with a higher probability of obesity in adulthood. Excess weight and obesity are major determinants of many non-communicable diseases, including coronary heart disease and stroke, and increased risks of cancer and diabetes (World Health Organization.2012).The prevalence of high saturated-fat diets is linked to cardiovascular disease and increased obesity risks and, in the case of red meat, an increased risk of colorectal cancer as well as association with total mortality.

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