Ahmedabad: Commended every year on October 16, the World Food Day celebrates the establishment of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO). The UNFAO was established in 1945 as an assembled work to counter food insecurity. Associations like the UN’s World Food Program – which got the Nobel Peace Prize last year – and the International Fund for Agricultural Development are likewise essential for festivities every year.
October 16 has been observed as World Food Day (WFD) by member countries of the FAO after the organisation’s general conference in November 1979; a Hungarian delegation suggested it be celebrated as such. More than 150 countries take part in it each year with common goals. With aid to agriculture showing a decline over the years, it has been increasingly important to highlight areas which need aid and prioritisation.
Significance and solutions:
The UNFAO says agri-food systems give employment to close to a billion people over the world, more than any other industry. “Moreover, the way we produce, consume and, sadly, waste food exacts a heavy toll on our planet, putting unnecessary pressure on natural resources, the environment and climate. Food production too often degrades or destroys natural habitats and contributes to species extinction,” the UNFAO says.
It says the “inefficiency” is resulting in the wastage of trillions of dollars, and that “today’s agri-food systems are exposing profound inequalities and injustices in our global society.” It mentions that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for farmers to sell their produce while poverty results in millions of people in need of food aid.
The UNFAO says that solutions do exist and that governments across the world need to shape their older policies and adopt new methods to aid the “sustainable production of affordable nutritious foods.”
Each year, a number of events – exhibitions, cultural performances, marches, contests and concerts – take place across the globe to celebrate WFD. India will also have two such events this year, at Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Banswara in Rajasthan.
Students from the MSB Educational Institute Banswara, will go to restaurants in their vicinity today and create awareness about food wastage. They will also appeal to restaurants to encourage the packing of leftovers so that they can be used by those in need. Over in Ahmedabad, the NGO Paryavaran Mitra will conduct online discussion forums to spread awareness about food production methods and how to access better nutrition with a focus on the environment.