Podcast: Super Awesome African Women in Agriculture

Podcast: Super Awesome African Women in Agriculture

October 15, 2019
Food Security 

Are bugs good to eat? Should you fear a pandemic approaching? What exactly IS blockchain? Jason Tetro, the Germ Guy, runs a weekly podcast – the Super Awesome Science Show – to help answer your questions about science, and to share the latest ‘super awesome’ scientific discoveries.

This week’s episode, Heroines of Food Security, features three of our very own #FoodHeroes and showcases the good work being done by women around the world to help achieve food security.

The original podcast can be found here.

Food security is a major concern as our population increases and our food supply dwindles. Although efforts around the world are focused on trying to sustain our ability to eat, efforts in Africa tend to go unnoticed. This week, we’re going to look at the work being done in various regions across the continent and more importantly, how they are being led by women.

Our first guest is Esther Ngumbi, who is originally from Eastern Kenya and is now a professor at the University of Illinois School of Integrative Biology. She focuses on drought and insects and is trying to develop ways to help crops stay viable in harsh conditions. Using a combination of genetics and microbes, she hopes to ensure that the farms where she was raised continue to offer significant yields to keep the population fed.

We next travel to the Ivory Coast to talk with Virginie Mfegue, who is a Program Manager at the World Cocoa Foundation. We have heard in the past that our chocolate supply may end up disappearing in the coming decades thanks to several cocoa plant diseases. We hear about the efforts she is leading to tackle these problems and to ensure that we will be able to enjoy this guilty pleasure long into the future.

Our third guest is Ruramiso Mashumba and she is the first ever woman Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Farmer’s Union Youth. Zimbabwe is an agricultural nation although it is underproducing. We learn of the work that is being done to improve farm yields and also to empower those who are most involved – women – in ensuring that the country will continue to be a significant contributor to our food supply.

In our SASS Class, we look at the influence women are having on men to help ensure everyone gets involved in sustainable agriculture. Our guest teacher is Pacifique Nshimiyimana and he is the co-owner of Real Green Gold Limited, which works with banana famers to increase their market share in the industry. He explains how women inspired him to switch his focus from purely economic advancement to one that helps everyone through a better food supply.

You can follow Jason and some of the guests on social media:

You can also view their #FoodHeroes profiles below: