World Food Day

World Food Day is annually held on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the United Nations‘ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Each year has a different theme.  The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

World Food Day

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations was founded in 1945. To mark this momentous event the 16th of October each year is celebrated as World Food Day. The day is also famously known as the Food Engineer day. The World Food Day (WFD) was recognized by FAO’s Member Countries at the 20th General Conference of the Organization’s in November 1979. The event was ideated by Dr. Pal Romany, the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and at the Food Hungarian Delegation a constituent of the 20th Session of the FAO Conference. The day has since habitually observed in more than 150 countries world-wide and raises different issues for discussion for the global misery of hunger and poverty.

Many events are organized on and around World Food Day. On and around October 16, a wide-ranging program is organized at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome, Italy. The program is aimed at leaders of political and non-political organizations at all levels and at increasing press attention on topical issues around food supply. Other UN organizations and universities around the world organize symposia, conferences, workshops and presentations of particular issues around food production, distribution and security. In addition, special initiatives, such as the “International Year of Rice” in 2004 and the “International Year of the Potato” in 2008 were launched.

Across the globe, many different events are organized to raise awareness of problems in food supply and distribution and to raise money to support projects to aid in the cultivation of food plants and the distribution of food. An example of this is TeleFood, which funds micro projects to help small-scale farmers at the grassroots level. The projects aim to help farmers be more productive and improve both local communities’ access to food and farmers’ cash income. Fundraising events include sponsored sports events, charity auctions, concerts, and marches.

In Asia the government of Bangladesh had organized Food Festivals, while in Mexico in Latin America a National Campaign for a “Mexico without Hunger” was held in 2005. this aside many countries have also organized various seminars, exhibition, demonstrations and even hosted open-forum discussion panels to acquaint the general mass and the discerning individual with the problems associated with the food industry and how to generate more awareness towards financing and economically aiding the agricultural industry.

From a famine stricken land India has become a food surplus country. Despite the controversies that surround it, the green revolution should take credit for it. Agriculture contributes over a fourth of the GDP and forms 18% of the exports. India stands among the first ten countries in the production of many fruits and vegetables.

But many Indians go without a meal every night. And in many poor countries the numbers must be comparable to this. FAO pleads for solidarity in the struggle against hunger. The World Food Day marks the date of the founding of the FAO in 1945. Improvement in technology and distribution systems could have the key to eradicating hunger. For instance, nearly one third of all the produce in India goes waste due to bad storage and transportation facilities. High levels of fraud in the Public Distribution System, that directs the subsidised food grains from the poor to the non poor makes the system a drain on the economy without fulfilling its objective.

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