The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations last Sunday celebrated World Food Day in Janjangbureh, in the Central River Region (CRR).
The day is celebrated each year on the 16th October. The theme for this year’s celebration is: “The climate is changing; food and agriculture must too.” The day provided an opportunity for all stakeholders to refocus efforts and partnerships as they work towards mounting an immediate and comprehensive response to climate change.
In a statement read on behalf of the First Lady of The Gambia, the minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Dr. Fatou Lamin Faye reiterated the clarion call for us to grow what we eat and eat what we grow. She described the celebration as a step in the right direction as it ensures that Gambians consume fresh and quality food, and enhance food security.
Dr. Faye pointed out that the crusade against hunger will continue unabated, as food is indispensable for human survival. “Our collective task now is to turn commitments into actions on the ground. Everyone has a role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change,” she noted.
The Basic and Secondary Education minister further stated that countries also need to invest in subsistence farming in a bid to sustainably increase food production. “Apart from these investments, there are also a number of actions that we can take to help achieve this goal. For example, by being conscientious or ethical consumers and by simply changing our day to day actions on food wastage, or eating less meat and more nutritious pulses, we can reduce our environmental footprint and make a big difference in combating climate change,” she stated.
The minister of Agriculture, Ismaila Sanyang said Government has developed a number of policy and investment documents that have been implemented and others are being implemented in projects as a response to these challenges.
He thanked the FAO and other development partners for the support and collaboration over the years and assured them of his office’s collaboration at all times.
The FAO country representative Dr. Perpetua Katepa Kalala commended Government for its strong commitment towards agricultural development, food security and women’s empowerment.
She reaffirmed FAO’s continued commitment to contribute to the Government’s efforts towards better responding to climate risks and improving food and nutrition security.
The World Food Programme’s country representative Angela Cespedes reiterated her agency’s readiness to working in close partnership with government institutions and other development partners to improve food security, nutrition and education and to build resilience and minimise the risks of climate change.
Other speakers at the event included the governor of the Region, Alhaji Omar Khan, who made similar remarks, while the Director General of Agriculture, Falalo Touray applauded the FAO and WFP for their immense support to the attainment of food security.
by Lamin SM Jawo in CRR