Photo: Gyanu Kumar Shakya/Share and Care Nepal
Photo: Gyanu Kumar Shakya/Share and Care Nepal


Food is a basic human need and right. If we do not have enough good quality food we will become ill and eventually die. Yet the number of people around the world who are undernourished continues to grow. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN, 850 million people in the world are affected by food insecurity, of whom 820 million live in developing countries.

Since mid-2007 the price of food and fuel has increased considerably. Across the world, in countries such as Burkina Faso, Haiti and Indonesia, there have been riots and protests against the price increases. The effects of climate change, such as droughts and floods, are also increasing food insecurity and this is likely to get worse in the future.

In this issue of Footsteps we consider important topics related to food security and look at practical ways to improve the situation. On page 10 we consider the important relationship between farmers and traders. There are also articles about grain banks (page 7), natural pest management (page 8), conservation farming (page 12), and floating gardens (page 16).

We hope this issue provides tools to help our readers improve their own food security and that of the people they serve.

Please find below articles from Footsteps issue 77 in html.

To download a pdf version of Footsteps issue 77, please click here (541KB).

  • Bible study: God’s provision in times of difficulty

    The book of Ruth is set at the time of a famine in the area around Bethlehem (Ruth 1:1). Elimelech and his family left Bethlehem in search of food and went to Moab, where they lived for at least 10 years (Ruth 1:4-5). Following the deaths of her husband and sons, Naomi returned home with her daughter-in-law Ruth (Ruth 1:22).

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  • Floating gardens

    Many people around the world experience flooding. Where there is frequent flooding the growing season is affected and crops become damaged or even washed away. Another problem for poor communities is that there is little land available for growing food.

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  • Letters

    Extracting oil I am writing in relation to Abbé Kussa’s letter in Footsteps 75. I teach Appropriate Farm Technologies at the Agricultural Training Institute in Zambia. From my experience the best way of extracting oil from Jatropha curcas (also known as Barbados or Physic nut) is to use a manually powered oil press. In Zambia it is called the Yenga oil press and costs about US$250. It is possible to press up to 50kg of seeds in one day. This is the process:

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  • Natural pest management

    Article compiled by Rebecca Dennis ‘Natural pest management’ is a method of controlling pests without using chemicals. Instead, other insects, birds, animals, plants or mechanical techniques are used.

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  • Resources

    Trading up: Building cooperation between farmers and traders in Africa This book looks at the role of traders in the food chain. Examining issues that affect both traders and farmers, the book reinforces the message that the different groups should work together rather than disagreeing. The book shows how traders can generate demand for farm products and help improve the incomes and livelihoods of rural people. There are 15 case studies that look at how relations have been strengthened ...

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