Clean water is a vital concern as many parts of the world struggle with its availability. Kenya is a prime example of a country on the edge. Kenya’s people have long struggled with lack of availability of fresh water creating hazardous health conditions. According to the World Bank, the country’s population is well over 43 million people. The country is one of the poorest on the earth with one of the most arid climates. Only a small portion of the land is suitable for agriculture. Further, Natural resources available to Kenya do not support adequate or equitable delivery of water forcing people to spend many hours of each day, procuring water for basic sustenance.
Food security is difficult to pin down. It can be explained simply as access to enough food. But behind that simplicity lies an interconnected web of factors — from food prices to agricultural practices, nutrition, natural resources, technology, trade and social development. Breaking down such complexity to its component parts is artificial, but is often necessary to gain understanding. It is in that spirit that the collection of articles this week focuses on just one, but fundamental, aspect of food security: sustainable agriculture. We examine how science and technology (S&T) can increase agricultural productivity within environmental and resource limits. (Our next Spotlight will explore other aspects of food security.)