What is your priority?
November 10, 2022
Peter the great and good
November 10, 2022

Solutions for food sustainability


Increased flooding and rising food prices are two factors that we have been facing in the past few weeks.

The MET office issued their rainfall and temperature outlook for Trinidad and Tobago for November 2022 to January 2023, which states that November has a high chance for near normal rainfall, December and January will both have high chances for near normal to above normal rainfall.

The likely impacts of the heavy rainfall during the last week in October will increase the risk of flash and riverine flooding, landslips, and landslides in the month of November. The expected rainfall, mixed with warm and humid conditions will promote rapid multiplication of agricultural pests, diseases, and fungal growth.

In addition to this, crop fertiliser prices are rising due to the impact of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Fertiliser prices have doubled or even tripled in Africa with some fertiliser products now hard to find.

These changes that are rapidly occurring will soon lead us into a state where prices will skyrocket for our local fruits and vegetables. This caught my attention when I entered the grocery store recently and saw that one melongene was $27!

Our food sustainability and security are our responsibility, so what should we do?  The first solution is to explore the concepts of subsistence farming in our homes once more. Subsistence agriculture/farming is when farmers grow food crops to meet the needs of their families on small holdings.

Homeowners, I urge you to start your household garden and grow your own vegetables. A kitchen garden can eliminate 50 per cent from your fresh produce bill. With subsistence farming, you can grow your own food to feed your family and have extra to sell or trade.

For families without yard space for crop production, I urge you to invest in grow lights and create a small green space within your home.

The second solution is to increase agricultural education and awareness. A key factor for our nation’s food security and sustainability in the upcoming years is teaching our children the life skill of gardening.

The dynamic shift of a pandemic mixed with the negative impacts of climate change has now left agriculture at the top of our priority list and we must remember a human’s necessities are food, water, and shelter.

Agriculture, in particular farming and modern agricultural technologies, should be taught in all school’s curriculums, just as Mathematics, Language Arts and Social Studies. We need to excite and educate our upcoming generations about growing their own food.

A third solution is to store our food properly. There should be no room for food wastage in our households.

Dry staples are the base necessities of your food storage. These consist of items such as flour, sugar, rice, beans, coffee, pancake mix, or even instant potato flakes. These dry goods can be stored for 30 years and over, making them the longest lasting part of your food storage. Airtight containers and glass jars are ideal for storing these items.

Foods like milk, eggs, cheese, meats, and vegetables should be refrigerated immediately because they are perishable and prone to spoilage. Frozen foods such as meat, fish, chicken, ice cream, and frozen vegetables must be put in the freezer right away.

A good tip is to invest in a chest freezer for bulk storage when there are deals on vegetables, such as tomatoes, root crops and peppers.


Send questions to rayannaboodram@hotmail.com