CFS Perspectives from a Young African SME Founder
Written by Steve Ngunyi, Founder of Icon (Be One) Ltd., Kenya
I had the privilege to attend this year’s UN Committee on World Food Security thanks to a grant provided for farmers and SMEs to join the Private Sector Mechanism. My expectation of CFS 44 was that I would have the opportunity to share my experience as an entrepreneur from an emerging market on the important role played by SMEs to achieve food security and nutrition. I also was looking to learn about global case studies that can be localized back at home.
I met amazing people who have walked this road before me and gave progressive feedback on how I can overcome some barriers. It was also a great opportunity to share practical examples of challenges that we face back at home as a farmer, young person, and business entrepreneur. Both challenges and opportunities were well received, and I could see a solution for each particular area I addressed. I got to start discussions on hopeful partnerships, such as communications on food waste management to corporate clients and innovative ways to engage youth and women in agribusiness.I will remember:
- The participation at the side-event on youth leadership in agriculture, learning and sharing on the great work that youth are doing across the world
- Meeting the African delegation, especially meeting the Kenya Agriculture Secretary, with whom we are now in communication here in Nairobi. We are making progress on collaboration with the government on pushing SDGs agenda through agriculture.
- Having lunch with PSM members and getting to hear their ventures in Africa. Hopefully we will engage in the near future.
I got to meet dignitaries, such as the new CFS chair, H.E Mario Arvelo Ambassador from the Dominican Republic, who was interested to find out more about my initiative in Kenya on SDG 12. I am also pleased to have met the Kenyan ambassador to Italy, the Kenyan government representative to FAO, and the Kenya Agriculture Secretary during this visit to CFS.
The High Level Dinner was one of the highlights of the CFS 44, where my passion on food waste and management happened to be the topic. I got to learn from the table some right and timely things to do in my initiative as a restaurateur to improve awareness of SDG 12. I got to learn about different categories of food waste, not only processed food waste. In particular, I got to learn some amazing case studies from Germany on eco cold storage.