Saturday, October 22, 2016

World Food Day is not a day for reflection; it is a day for action- FAO Boss

Dr. Perpetua Katepa-Kalala

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative in the Islamic Republic of The Gambia, Dr. Perpetua Katepa-Kalala  delivering a statement on World Food Day, has said that World Food Day 2016 is not a day for reflection; it is a day for action.

According to her, World Food Day 2016 is an opportunity to refocus our efforts and partnerships as we work towards mounting an immediate and comprehensive response to climate change.

Without concerted actions, millions more people could fall into  threatening to reverse hard-won gains and placing in jeopardy our ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

For these reason, agriculture and food systems must become more resilient, productive, inclusive and sustainable. To bolster food security in a changing climate, countries must address food and agriculture in their climate action plans and invest more on rural development.

She was speaking in Janjanbureh, Central River Region South as part of celebrations marking World Food Day, which gathered UN Agencies, governmental officials, media, farmer organisations, students amongst others on the 16th October, 2016. 

The theme for this year’s celebrations is ‘The Climate is changing- Food and agriculture must too.’
This year, World Food Day, is devoted to analysing how food and agriculture should evolve in order to face the impacts of climate change.

She stated that each year on 16th October, the world joins FAO of the United Nations to celebrate World Food Day saying that it was the day, FAO was founded in 1945. This is a day of action against hunger.
The threat of climate change continues to mount- every single day adding that global average temperatures are increasing and the new records are registered almost every year.

Dr. Kalala pointed out that this year’s theme for the World Food Day is also highly relevant to sustainable enhancement of rural women’s livelihoods stating that the Rural Women’s Day is celebrated every year on October 15th to honor and appreciate the role of rural women in our society.

She told her audience that Rural Women’s Day recognises rural women’s importance in enhancing agriculture and rural development worldwide.

Climate change, she said is a fundamental threat to global food security adding that it is already undermining crop yields in many parts of the world.

She went further to say that rising temperatures, changing rainfall pattern and extreme weather events are affecting our ability to produce the food we need.

In summing up her statement, she recognised the high political will and efforts of the government of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia in its quest to attain national food security as well as economic and social development.

She reaffirmed FAO’s continuous commitment to contribute to the government’s efforts towards better responding to the climate risk and improving food and nutrition security.

She revealed that FAO will continue to make available its pool of technical experts in all areas within its mandate from all levels: headquarters, regional offices, sub-regional as well as from the FAO Country Office and thus strive to provide support to improve agriculture.

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