World Food Day to be observed
World Food Day (WFD) is observed every year on 16th of October to mark the foundation day of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) since its inception in 1945. Events of different natures are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. World Food Day is a chance to show our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hun- ger by 2030. It’s also a day for us to celebrate the progress we jointly have made towards reaching ZeroHunger world.
This year is the 73th birth anniversary of FAO and 38th years that FAO member countries have been observing this day. FAO has become an independent international organization in 1985 and this year is the 33th year of FAO in Bhutan.
In Bhutan the Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture & Forests has been the focal agency representing Bhutan to organize World Food Day in Bhutan with collaboration with FAO and WFP Bhutan and relevant government agencies. Annual best school farm awards for School Agriculture Programme (SAP), has been tied as one important activity during the event of WFD every year since year 2000. The aim of this day is to create public awareness and educate the general public on the efforts made by FAO and WFP and other UN agencies on their efforts to fight against the against hunger and importance of food and express our solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
This year the global theme is “A Zero Hunger by World by 2030 is possible”. The message from FAO Director General will be read out for public benefit through mass media. The day will be marked in Thimphu with SAP national award winners, students, teachers, government officials and members of UN organizations.
Ensuring food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation, among others are some of the major national objective of ministry of Agriculture and Forests in the current 12th FYP that is very much in line with this year’s WFD Global theme. A national level of WFD committee has been in place representing technical departments of Agriculture & Forests, Department of School Education and donor partners like WFP and FAO to decide the venues for annual WFD celebration.
According to the 2017 State of Food Security and Nutrition report (SOFI), 815 million people suffered from hunger in 2016, an increase of 38 million people compared to 2015 (777 million). This was largely due to conflicts, droughts and floods around the world, resulting difficulty in achieving the food selfsufficiency in the world. Inclusive rural development can help on all fronts, curbing conflict, boosting sustainability and making rural communities more economical through agriculture development and opting to remain in rural communities with no fear of food shortage encouraging each individuals a pride to be in rural communities.