When we start speaking about Development where do we start? Many people will say we have to have a vision and for sure, that is important, after all not one of us can go “there”, we all need an address or location and it is the same for the individual, community, country and us humans as a species.
How well we have fared can be seen in the world today, massive inequality, unemployment, crumbling financial and housing systems, ill health, dropping standards in education, malnutrition and still 20 000 children dying every day from hunger related diseases. We think it is fair to say that as a species and the current generation of the creators of not only our reality, but the reality our children will find themselves in when it is time for them to steer the ship, is not one that that we can be particularly proud of or say that it is stable and that we have sorted out the causes of the factors that makes this planet and species stay on the brink of a unsustainable outcome for future generations.
When we think of “where” we want to be our thoughts very often turn to our dreams for our children, we want them to be successful, and more often than not we see something like the picture of a healthy vibrant graduate ready to take on the world and play their part in society. More often than not we will work hard and see that we use our resources in a way that we can pay for their education and studies, so that they can enter the competitive world out there, where unemployment is just going up and although nationally the figures will go in a positive direction here and there, the overall picture for humanity is bleak and it’s not going to change using the current model, unless we improve rapidly and become very innovative in design and implementation.
It does not matter from what perspective you look, what aspect of governance you look at, everything, all the solutions starts with agriculture, education, health, employment, economics, ecological sustainability, reversing global warming, mitigating the effects of global warming that we can not get away with even if we roll out the most brilliant solutions over the next two years in an all-out collective drive to reduce our impact, we are going to go through times of change in global weather patterns.
So why agriculture, what does education have to do with agriculture, except to give the children the skills necessary to manage farms? The answer is everything, it does not matter how good your education is, if the foundation for that education has not been laid at the right time it will follow a downward spiral and only the children with the right foundation will find it easy. Agriculture itself has made the fundamental mistake of going for high output commercial crops and most of those crops are low in nutrition, the staple foods in most countries are very low in wide spectrum nutrition and other essentials.
Education begins at conception and from conception to the age of two years old you are going to make or break your child’s education. This is quite a bold statement but all scientific research is saying this.
Nutrients and growth factors regulate brain development during fetal and early postnatal life. The rapidly developing brain is more vulnerable to nutrient insufficiency yet also demonstrates its greatest degree of plasticity. Certain nutrients have greater effects on brain development than do others. These include protein, energy, certain fats, iron, zinc, copper, iodine, selenium, vitamin A, choline, and folate.(full article)
So clearly if the effect of brain development is nutrition then agriculture is the foundation of that education. The failure of the agricultural sector globally to produce quality nutrition to the masses at an affordable rate for every individual on the planet may just be humanities biggest failure to date, our addiction to fast big profit and mega factory farming has not only removed from our consumer based society the consumers that is supposed to keep the system in positive growth, but started producing massive amounts of easy to grow low nutrition staple foods without actually educating the public on the knock on effect of these practices. In all honesty we don’t think it was any kind of conspiracy, every one just thought it was the best way forward at the time, but it is a system that needs restructuring and it needs it fast.
This is one of the major reasons why IRDI has chosen the Moringa tree as our first crop for ecological sustainable economic development in Zambia, within the next month or so we will be planting 100 Moringa trees at every one of the over 4400 schools in the country, with an educational DVD on nutrition, health and education as well as the propagation, planting, harvesting and pruning of Moringa. This goes hand in hand with our national economic development plan for Zambia. The other great news is that we have an possible opportunity to assist in helping Zimbabwe to embark on a similar program!
We would be really interested for researchers to build on this article on early brain development and nutrition, please get involved with us on the IRDI Wisdom Council. IRDI is involved with national development in Zambia covering subjects such as agriculture, education, health, water management, waste management, green energy and many more.
IRDI also have accommodation and good local food for individuals that wants to come for a philanthropic holiday and contribute their skills and capacity to our project.
As individuals we are but little streams, it is when we flow together that we will make the earth shake and usher in a sustainable optimal design forward for the future sustainability of all human children on a planet that is in itself sustainable for all other species.
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