Agriculture and health
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CTA. 2003. Agriculture and health. Rural Radio Resource Pack 03/02. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/64793
Food production and health are linked in many ways
Food production and health are linked in many ways. If people grow and eat better food they are better able to resist disease; if their agriculture is profitable they can afford to eat better and take preventive measures to protect themselves against disease; people who are suffering from poor health are less productive farmers; some farming practices can promote disease, others can reduce it. Many of you have asked us to produce a resource pack addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS and agriculture; I hope you will find the interviews in this pack answer that request. More than half of the interviews specifically address the impact of AIDS on farming communities, and how this can be tackled. Links between agriculture and health Improving diet: It is obvious that encouraging people to grow and eat a wide diversity of nutritious foods will improve their general health, and their ability to fight disease. As one of the speakers states, preventive health is better than curative health ? i.e. it is better to stop people getting ill than to allow people to become ill and then have to treat them. For pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding babies, a nutriti ous diet is particularly important, and for people who are HIV positive, having a good and varied diet is vital if they are to stand a good chance of remaining healthy for as long as possible. Several interviews in this pack deal with the benefits of certain food crops. Better nutrition through indigenous crops discusses the importance of diversity and stresses the nutritional benefits of indigenous African vegetables and legumes as well as exotic varieties. Sesame - high energy health food focuses on the growing of sesame, a valuable source of energy for women farmers and their families in The Gambia, and a source of extra income. Soya for the sick looks at a soya-growing project in Malawi, which has taught women how to grow and cook this protein-rich bean. Supporting AIDS sufferers includes a mushroom growing enterprise for AIDS sufferers living in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Health risks associated with agriculture: Farming is not usually regarded as a dangerous activity, but there are instances when poor farm practices can encourage the spread of disease. Obvious examples include improper use of chemical inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers. Applying chemicals without protective equipment and clothing can be dangerous. Eating sprayed crops without leaving a sufficient ...