World Food Day: 16th October

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Trending

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Every year on 16th October, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) commemorates World Food Day to celebrate the Organization’s foundation in 1945. World Food Day is an opportunity to urge for a more substantial commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 and to recognize FAO’s role in leading worldwide efforts to achieve Zero Hunger since its inception in 1945.

What are the Objectives of World Food Day?

World Food Day is one of the most honored days on the UN calendar, with festivities in over 150 countries. The day was created in 1979 to remember the 1945 establishment of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Its goal is to raise public awareness of global food issues and strengthen solidarity in the fight against Hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. The day is observed by large organizations such as the World Health Organisation, regional governments, and local community groups alike.

The goals of World Food Day are as follows:

  • Promote attention to agricultural food production and boost national, multilateral, and non-governmental initiatives.
  • Boost developing countries’ economic and technological cooperation.
  • Encourage rural people’s participation in decisions and activities affecting their living conditions, particularly women and the least privileged categories.
  • Raise public awareness of the global hunger problem.
  • Promote technology transfer to the developing world.
  • Increase international and national solidarity in the struggle over Hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, and draw attention to food and agricultural development successes.

World Food Day 2023, Theme

Water is life, and water is food. Leave No One Behind. – is the theme for World Food Day 2023.

Water is necessary for life on Earth. It accounts for over half of our bodies and covers approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface. Only 2.5% of the water is fresh and appropriate for drinking, agriculture, and most industrial purposes. Water is the foundation of our food and a driving force for people, economy, and nature. Indeed, agriculture accounts for 72% of worldwide freshwater withdrawals, yet fresh water, like all natural resources, is finite.

Rapid population increase, urbanization, economic development, and climate change all strain the planet’s water resources. At the same time, freshwater resources per person have fallen by 20% over the last two decades, and water availability and quality are rapidly decreasing due to decades of poor usage and management, over-extraction of groundwater, pollution, and climate change. We run the risk of exhausting this unique resource.

Water-stressed countries now have 2.4 billion inhabitants. Many smallholder farmers struggle to meet their basic requirements, especially women, Indigenous Peoples, migrants, and refugees. Water scarcity is becoming an increasingly important source of conflict, increasing competition for this vital resource. Pollution, ecosystem degradation, unsustainable practices, and climate change are affecting the 600 million people relying on aquatic food systems.

Water as a Means of Livelihood

Water comprises 71% of the surface of our world. Water bodies, from oceans to lakes, rivers, and estuaries, are home to thriving ecosystems, critical habitats, and a remarkable wealth of biodiversity. Over 600 million people, including small-scale fishers, fish farmers, fish processors, and their dependents, rely on aquatic food systems. They are the foundation of coastal and inland towns, sustaining local economies and shaping cultures worldwide. We currently utilize about 3000 species in capture fisheries and cultivate approximately 650.

Due to their diversity, aquatic food systems are unique and essential nutrition and food security sources. Aquatic foods are becoming recognized for their ability to counteract malnutrition due to their high concentrations of critical elements such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Preserving and protecting these aquatic habitats and the animals that depend on them is not just a responsibility but also a requirement for our planet’s and its inhabitants’ health.

It is Important to Start Managing Water Sensibly

We must produce more food and other critical agricultural commodities with less water while ensuring that water is distributed evenly, our aquatic food systems are protected, and no one is left behind. Governments must develop science- and evidence-based policies that leverage data, innovation, and cross-sectoral collaboration to better plan and manage water. They must support these policies with increased investment, legislation, technologies, and capacity development while motivating farmers and the private sector to participate in integrated water-use and conservation solutions.

How Can You Participate in and Celebrate World Food Day?

Participate and make this World Food Day memorable. You can participate and make this World Food Day significant. Here are some ways you can participate and commemorate World Food Day 2023:

How Can You Participate in and Celebrate World Food Day?

  1. Raising awareness: Raise awareness about food security and the injustice of this issue that affects many people worldwide using social media or word-of-mouth.
  2. Educating yourself and others: Take the time to educate yourself and those around you on food security and the consequences of food shortages by sharing facts and figures.
  3. Building a vegetable garden: Showing your children where their food comes from is a terrific approach to teaching them about food. Making a vegetable garden is an excellent way to start a discussion about food security and where our food comes from. Consider offering deserving households fruit trees and vegetable seeds from the Gifts for Good collection.
  4. Increasing your awareness of food waste: Every year, around 7.3 million tonnes of food are misspent in Australia, which equates to approximately 300kg per person. Try to reduce food waste and urge others to do the same.
  5. Taking action and giving: You can help by donating to Hunger Crisis Appeal and asking your friends and family to do the same. Your donation will be used to improve food security for children who are suffering from acute food and water shortages.

Conclusion

World Food Day aims to increase awareness about worldwide hunger and inspire people to take action. The commemoration emphasizes the importance of ensuring food security for everyone worldwide, particularly those in remote communities who are most vulnerable. According to the FAO, current global challenges limit access to and availability of nutritious food. The COVID-19 epidemic, conflicts, climate change, inequality, and rising prices have caused a domino effect. Millions of people worldwide cannot afford a nutritious meal, placing them in danger of food insecurity and malnutrition. World Food Day 2023 intends to raise awareness about these concerns by emphasizing the need for improved production, nutrition, the environment, and a better life for all.

Also Read: Food System Sustainability: Need For Change In Food Systems

Author

  • Dr. Tanushree Kain

    Tanushree is a passionate Environmentalist with a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences. She is also a Gold medalist in Master of Science (M.Sc), Environmental Sciences. She has 6 years of experience as a guest faculty in Environmental Sciences. With her combination of technical knowledge and research expertise, she can create clear, accurate, and engaging content that helps users get the maximum information regarding environmental topics.

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