by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- World Food Day 2018 theme “A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is still possible”
- Private sector called to invest in food security
- 2019 event to be a week-long event with focus on education
World Food Day 2018 was held in Grenville under the theme “Our Actions are our Future: A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is still possible.” The annual celebration was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), ICCA, and Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI).
The street exhibition by farmers and agro-processors showcased various locally grown produce, and agricultural products sought to enhance and guide various efforts made in agriculture investment, especially in food security investment.
Minister of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment Yolande Bain-Horsford said the event was also an occasion to call the attention of the private sector to invest in food security to increase incomes and provide opportunities for improved farmers’ livelihood. “The global plan to achieve zero hunger by 2030 cannot be reached if we don’t address the interconnection between food security, rural development and climate change. The Government of Grenada understands this. Therefore, we will expand investment in agriculture and fisheries thereby improving our food and nutrition security status. Our actions influence our future, therefore, let us pursue the right actions which are responsible, environmentally and economically sustainable, that will guarantee results in a zero hunger Grenada by 2030.”
Minister Bain-Horsford also highlighted the school feeding programme as a shining example of ensuring food security and a healthier nation. “The contribution made to this project is invaluable to the school feeding programme. With the implementation of this project students, teachers, officers were very instrumental in the farming of healthy foods. Furthermore, this concept provides many opportunities for many farmers to access markets through the schools feeding programme. There is also a very lucrative market for fruits as a healthy alternative to many of the snacks that we serve in our schools.”
Lauren St Louis, member of the 2018 World Food Day celebration organising committee said the committee is already looking at improving for next year’s observance of World Food Day. Among suggestions put forward was to extend the celebration to a week-long event leading up to the hosting of an exhibition on 16 October 2019, and to provide more of an educational spin to the exhibition. However, she said this would largely depend on funding made available to the committee by government and other stakeholders.
FAO Executive Director José Graziano da Silva in his worldwide address to mark the occasion stated, “This year, World Food Day takes place in a for the fight against hunger and malnutrition. It is now that hunger continues to increase. We are returning to levels from a decade ago.”
He stated that “Nearly 820 million people were undernourished in the 2017 State of Food Security in the World report. Conflict, events linked to climate change, and economic slowdown are reversing progress made in the fight against hunger. At the same time, overweight and obesity levels are rapidly increasing. It is to redouble efforts to achieve the global goal of Zero Hunger.”
“This year’s World Food Day calls to work more closely together, and evidence and tools available. Three years ago all UN Member Countries pledged to end poverty and hunger when they committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. Zero Hunger is still achievable if we in the remaining years for 2030.”