A pandemic-driven food crisis in Africa can be prevented

Cedric Habiyaremye | April 19, 2020

Cedric Habiyaremye is a Aspen New Voices Senior Fellow is known as the scientist who brought quinoa to Rwanda and other parts of Africa. Unlike most crops that provide no food before harvest, quinoa addresses both short- and long-term food security because growers can eat the nutritious leaves long before harvesting the grain. Cedric’s passion for food security comes from painful childhood memories of surviving on leaves and grass and food assistance from the UN-World Food Programme in a refugee camp in Tanzania during the Rwandan Genocide. His mother planted the idea that education was the pathway to escaping poverty and hunger. He took that advice to heart and earned his master’s and Ph.D. in agronomy and crop science from Washington State University.

In Aljazeera Opinion, Dr. Habiyaremye discusses the urgent need for measures to take place to keep the global food supply chains operational to make sure we are alleviating the pressure on food systems.  Dr. Habiyaremye states, “As the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold in the world’s poorest countries, policy solutions and global assistance must align to support the most vulnerable countries and populations. The protection of food security is inseparable from actions to protect the health, family welfare, commerce and other sectors. It must be urgently integrated into all COVID-19 planning and policy.”