International Youth Day: KZN students weigh in on food security

Students from KwaZulu-Natal University have revealed their thoughts on food security in light of International Youth Day.
This year’s International Youth Day – celebrated on 12 August – will be held under the theme ‘Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health’. (Photo: Freepik)

This year’s International Youth Day – celebrated on 12 August – will be held under the theme ‘Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health’.


Health-e News looks at how South African youth think this year’s theme can be achieved. We spoke to a number of students from KwaZulu-Natal University (UKZ) and Durban University of Technology (DUT), who believe this year’s theme can be realised by practically engaging youth in the food system through education and skills.


They also felt that South African youth must come up with innovative ideas that will ensure that the country meets its needs without compromising future food security.


Thandeka Stampu, final-year Journalism student at the Durban University of Technology, said South Africa’s youth must have basic knowledge of agriculture to ensure the country’s food system needs are met without compromising the future of the food system.


Gather more information


‘’We need to gather more information on agricultural science as South African youth, and change the narrative that farming is for old people’’ said Stampu.


“Look at other countries where agriculture is a major economic booster and how they use their strategies to ensure they have enough food production. They are armed with techniques to ensure the next generation also has the knowledge and the skills to produce food.”


Stampo added that to boost food security on a global scale, youth must learn about the modern ways of crop production crops, as well as other agricultural products so that these techniques fall into obscurity.


Eliea Monamatha, a BA Honours (Political Science) student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said the youth must acquire skills and knowledge via the education system. 


Need innovative ideas


“To avoid food insecurity now and in the future, we need to come up with new innovative ideas, as this is the most important issue we face as young people in education. Our education system is failing, so young people have to unite and influence our leaders to change the curriculum,” said Monamatha 


“Agriculture should be compulsory when comes to education, for the sake of food security.”


Zamani Xolo, a, Bachelor of Sciences (Community Development & Psychology) student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal said education and a sustainable water system are key to achieving global food security.


“Young people should get dirty and start enriching the soil and the pastures, whether they are farming commercially or on a small scale. Young farmers should be taught about important things such as crop rotation, global warming, different diseases and treatment for livestock,” said Xolo.


International Youth Day was founded by the United Nations to highlight issues related to youth for the attention of the global community and to celebrate the potential of youth as partners in the global community. – Health-e News


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