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Story Highlights

  • World Food Day will be celebrated on Wednesday October 16 under the theme: ‘Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems’.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisherieswill be staging a National Ceremony and Exhibition on the day at the Greater Portmore High School in St. Catherine.
  • World Food Day was established by the FAO in 1979 and serves to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world.

On Wednesday, October 16, Jamaica will join the rest of the world in celebrating World Food Day under the theme: ‘Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems’.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, in recognition of World Food Day 2013, will be staging a National Ceremony and Exhibition on the day at the Greater Portmore High School in St. Catherine.

Exhibitions will also be mounted by the Ministry, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) office in Kingston, Ebony Park HEART Academy in Clarendon, the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE) in Portland, Jamaica 4-H Clubs across the island, the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and the National Food Safety Committee.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Roger Clarke, in his World Food Day message said that the theme aptly describes the on-going thrust to ensure the provision of sustainable food systems that nurture healthy living and “empower us to achieve our fullest potential as human beings.”

“As individuals, we all have a part to play; let us choose healthy nutritious foods for ourselves and our families and seek as far as possible, as Jamaicans, to utilise the fresh produce cultivated by our local farmers. We must deepen our resolve as a people to indeed ‘grow what we eat and eat what we grow’,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, Director General of the FAO, Jose Graziano daSilva, in his message, said that an estimated 840 million people around the world are undernourished. This is down from the 870 million reported in 2012.

“This is very encouraging, but we must not forget that 12 per cent of the world’s population still suffers from hunger in the 21st Century; that means one in every eight human beings,” Mr. daSilva said.

Mr. daSilva reaffirmed the FAO’s commitment to support the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

“The results of the past two years show that we can achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce by half, the prevalence of hunger between 1990 and 2015. Sixty-two developing countries out of the 120 monitored by the FAO have already reached this milestone.  This is an important step towards a more ambitious and necessary role, guaranteeing everyone’s right to food.   Ending hunger is the first step towards a fairer sustainable world and to realize the other MDGs,” Mr. daSilva said.

World Food Day was established by the FAO in 1979 and serves to heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world.  In addition, it turns the spotlight on agricultural food production and stimulates national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end. It also promotes the transfer of technologies to developing countries.

Founded in 1945, the FAO has a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations.