South Africa has joined the world in marking World Food Day to highlight the plight of millions of undernourished people in the world.
World Food Day is commemorated annually around the world on 16 October in remembrance of founding the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945, as an organisation that deals with global food and agricultural issues.
FAO was established to deal with the global physical availability of food and agricultural development after World War 2.
World Food Day is commemorated widely by governments and many organisations in the world concerned with the production, preservation and distribution of food to ensure food security. The World Food Day was proclaimed by the Conference of FAO in 1979.
Annually, FAO member states commemorate World Food Day by organising public awareness campaigns that support the National Programme for Food and Nutrition Security.
As a member state, South Africa also commemorates the day through activities aimed at highlighting food and nutrition security.
Objectives of World Food Day are to:
Inform South Africans on the National Policy on Food and Nutrition Security;
Heighten public awareness on issues such as absence and scarcity of food in the country and to strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty;
Promote food production and to stimulate national, bi-lateral, trans-national and non-governmental initiatives;
Encourage research and technology development for the development of symbiotic ecological food production systems to ensure sustainable food production;
Enhance the participation of rural people, particularly women and the under privileged in decisions and events impacting their living conditions;
Heighten public awareness on the government programmes aimed at halving hunger in South Africa; and
Raise awareness of the public regarding the contribution of indigenous forests to food security and nutrition.
This year's World Food Day is celebrated under the theme 'Our actions are our future. A #ZeroHungerWorld by 2030 is possible'.
The Sustainable Development Goal 2 aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people, especially children, have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round.
This involves promoting sustainable agricultural practices, supporting small scale farmers and allowing equal access to land, technology and markets. It also requires international cooperation to ensure investment in infrastructure and technology to improve agricultural productivity.
Food Security Month
Meanwhile, as part of October Food Security Month activities, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Senzeni Zokwana, will next week join the Western Cape MEC of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde on Hunger alliance march to take place in Brandwacht.
The event will also include a visit to the exhibition stalls and the unveiling of the food mountain at NG Church Hall in Brandwacht.
In October 2014, DAFF Ministry declared October as Food Security Month. The objective of Food Security Month is to create a platform for heightening public awareness on issues pertaining to food (in) security in the country.