World Food Day 2013

World Food Day WFD 2013 banner

Declared by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today is celebrated as World Food Day under the theme “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition“. The main aim is to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger around the world. It also sheds light on agricultural food production and stimulates national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end. Another key component of the campaign is to promote the transfer of technologies to developing countries.

Many developing countries have made notable strides towards the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger (Millennium Development Goal #1). Here’s a look at the success Vietnam has had with their V-A-C farming model which harnesses tradition and bolsters that with technology and the right policy mix. It’s a no-waste system integrating fish farming, raising livestock and growing fruit and vegetables, all on the same farm. The system has guaranteed sufficient, healthy food to Vietnam’s rural farmers while generating income and feeding the growing cities. In V-A-C, livestock can even power the lights.

Jamaica has joined WFD 2013 under the theme “Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems“. Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Honourable Roger Clarke, MP has embarked on raising awareness through staging a National Ceremony and Exhibition on the day at the Greater Portmore High School in St. Catherine. Plans are in place to have exhibitions mounted by the Ministry, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) office in Kingston, Ebony Park HEART Academy in Clarendon, the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland, Jamaica 4-H Clubs across the island, the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and the National Food Safety Committee. (Read the full news article here).

Community-Level Engagement

Founded in 1945, the FAO has a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations. In an attempt to engage local communities in the drive to end hunger, the FAO has invited thousands of people take part in HUNGER RUN events around the world. This has forged connections between local communities and the United Nations food agencies, focused public attention on the fact that hundreds of millions of people around the world still live in chronic hunger, and raised funds to help hunger-affected communities meet their own food needs over the long term.

Here are some highlights of Hunger Run 2012 in Italy where it’s a big hit:

What are some ways in which we as individuals and as a nation can address the critical issue of food security and lifestyle choices as it relates to nutrition and health? 

It’s time to rethink our food systems and how and what we eat.