Editor's Note [Volume 20 No. 1 (2020)]

The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND) has gone International. And yet still focused on Africa. In our 20th year of production, we can state that we are truly global, with reviewers and articles from all corners of the world, representing different fields. No doubt the largest number comes from Africa. …Click here

This issue 89 is our first regular issue for this year. I take this opportunity to honor a special friend and also a dedicated supporter of AJFAND, Ms. Marian Horowitz, who passed away recently in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. Marian bravely battled lung cancer for 5 years, with Prof Richard Douglass, another one of our ardent supporters and advisor, by her side. Click here to learn more about her. May her soul rest in Eternal Peace, and may God grant Prof Douglass the energy and comfort to move on without his soulmate.

In East Africa, there is an invasion of locusts originating from the Horn of Africa, said to be the worst ever in 70 years for Kenya. We actually have not seen anything like this before. The current crop of leaders and technocrats have little experience on how to deal with it. The government should be stocking up food and advising citizens to do the same, as a precautionary measure. That is called “preparedness against hunger”. The local name of locusts in my mother tongue is Tsisiche and I remember an aunt the age of my late mother, who had that name. That means she was born and named during a similar locust invasion 100 years or so ago. We have in recent decades had locusts but not to this magnitude. The invasion is affecting areas which are normally food insecure, and also normally dry. This time, however, it is unusually wet, attributable to climate change. So, instead of the unusually heavy rains bringing food, they have brought devastating locusts. The United Nations is appealing for $76 million in aid to combat the swarms and "prevent a humanitarian crisis." The UN has raised about $15 million so far. Locusts are similar to grasshoppers but differ in that they have the ability to change their behaviour and can migrate over large distances. The swarms over the Horn of Africa are made up of "desert locusts," which are known for forming swarms that can be highly dense and mobile, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization Desert Locust Information Center. Coordinated control measures should be taken in the region before the swarms overrun the whole region, before major food deficit becomes a reality. There are 16 papers in this issue, and again they give global coverage. Kenya, Germany, Ethiopia, USA, Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, South Africa are represented.

We have profiled two people. One is Dr. Ezra Mutai who joined us as a Junior Reviewer and is now ready to become a full reviewer. Mr. David Ng’ethe 20 years ago was of extreme assistance when we were setting up the journal. He has accomplished much during the two decades. See his biography. He has kindly agreed to join us again, to assist with technical reviewing. We are thrilled to have him back.


Ruth K. Oniang'o
Editor-in-Chief, AJFAND