The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and its partners have joined nations around the world in celebrating this year’s World Food Day.
MoFA’s partners for the World Food Day Celebration included: World Food Programme (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, and KFC.
This year’s event marks the 40th edition of the annual World Food Day Celebration. The 2020 Celebration was held under the theme: Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together. Our Actions Are Our Future.
World Food Day was established by FAO’s member countries at the Organization’s 20th general conference in November 1979. The date chosen, October 16, is the anniversary of FAO.
The World Food Day has been observed annually in more than 179 countries.
The celebration focus attention on agriculture and food production, and stimulate national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to heighten awareness on food insecurity around the world.
It is also used to strengthen international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty, and draw attention to achievements in food and agricultural developments.
In a speech at the Celebration held at the forecourt of the State House in Accra on Friday, October 16, 2020, Minister of State for Food and Agriculture, Dr Nurah Gyiele, says millions of people go hungry everyday around the world due to man-made and natural factors such as climate change, pandemic.
He stated that about 820 million people worldwide suffer chronic malnutrition.
He rallied global efforts in addressing the pertinent issue of food insecurity, assuring that the Ghanaian Government Ghana remains fully committed to achieving the goal of providing food security.
He stated that the Government of Ghana has moved past the rhetorics of ensuring food security, by walking the talk and taking concrete actions such as the introduction of its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme.
Commenting on the celebration, he said “World Food Day, as we do know, seeks to promote awareness and trigger action towards the elimination of hunger, by calling global attention to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. Since the inception of this annual event, the focus of the celebrations has been to highlight the fact that food is a basic and fundamental human right that ought to be respected and enjoyed by everyone regardless of age, sex and status.”
“To achieve the laudable objectives of the celebration, it is important to remind ourselves of the dire consequences of pervasive hunger across the world if no concrete and sustained action is taken by the community of Nations. The inescapable consequences, as experience has shown, will include a high rate of mortality of populations across the world, stunted growth, poor health, low productivity, high incidence of poverty and general under-development,” he noted.
“he Indeed we need to have a full appreciation of the threat and challenges of combating hunger globally if the desired impact is to be made on the social economic lives of people threatened by hunger.”
“I am happy to report that under the current administration, a strong partnership has been built with stakeholders to transform Ghana’s agriculture through the platform of the “Agricultural Sector Working Group (ASWG)”. This platform provides the opportunity for reviewing policies and assessing sector performance, sharing ideas, knowledge and lessons discussing and sharpening strategies, to maximise the benefits of interventions in the sector. Participating stakeholders include, International Agencies, NGOs, Allied MDAs and Farmer groups among others. “
Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Francis Kingsley Ato Codjoe, it was necessary that stakeholders acknowledge the importance of the World Food Day Celebration in the fight against poverty, malnutrition, hunger and ensuring that we achieve the Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2 and 3.
The World Food Day Celebration, he said, has over the years provided “the platform for the adoption of policies and strategies towards the development of the agricultural sector including fisheries to ensure that we meet out food requirement.”
“The theme for the 40th World Food Day “Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together: Our Actions, our Future” is key to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2 and 3 i.e. Ending poverty, Hunger and ensuring Good Health and Wellbeing.”
The theme emphasises the need for a collective action to ensure that we meet our food requirements and achieve a nourished population for national development, he said.
According to him, “A nourished population is essential for national development since a well-nourished population is a healthier and more productive population. As I indicated during the celebration last year, healthy diets and better nutrition is fundamental to ending poverty, achieving better quality of life, developing human capital and national development.”
World Food Programme Representative and Ghana Country Director, Rukia Yacoub, in a statement, called for global action to improve food systems that produce and distribute the food “we eat, so that they can better withstand shocks such as the covid-19 pandemic.”
She stated that in many countries, the socio-economic effects of the pandemic – particularly loss of earnings and remittances – are heightening existing threats to food security.
“WFP estimates that the number of acutely hungry people in the world could increase by more than 100 million this year,” she said.
According to her, “the world produces enough food for everyone so it’s not entirely a problem of scarcity but of access to nutritious and affordable food for everyone.”
By Melvin Tarlue