The Gambia on October 16 joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Food Day, a day set aside as people around the world come together to declare their commitment to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.
At the celebration held in Janjangbureh, CRR, the minister of Basic and Secondary Education rightly observed that “the celebration is not only a step in the right direction in ensuring that Gambians consume fresh and quality food, but also a means of combating climate change and ensuring food security.”
The above premise is well supported by myriad policies and programmes as well as the setting up of modern institutions, fully manned by highly trained experts like the National Food Safety and Quality Authority (NFSQA) The latest is the inauguration of the National Codex Committee by the Vice President in March, accentuating government’s emphasis on food safety.
This policies and programmes have earned us, and rightly so, many prestigious awards in the successful fight against hunger by internationally recognised institutions like the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.
It is the responsibility of those charged with these institutions and mandates to continue to deliver as expected. Food quality is everyone’s business because even if one is spared from being infected with disease from bad food; everyone is affected through the health bill to be incurred through public health expenditure once food-borne disease become widespread.
Having highlighted all of the above, it is important to reiterate President Jammeh’s clarion call for all Gambians to go back to the land and grow what we eat. This, as the Basic Education minister noted, is the ultimate solution to food safety.