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Thursday February 29, 2024

World Food Day: Towards zero hunger by 2030

By Our Correspondent
October 17, 2018

Islamabad: Achieving food and nutritional security for Pakistan should be the core underlying objective of all policies and programmes of the government, speakers at a seminar organized in connection with World Food Day observed here Tuesday.

Organised by Oxfam, along with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Program (WFP), the Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFS&R), and the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC), the seminar featured a documentary and speeches, followed by a food security stunt at a local mall.

Speaking at the seminar, Minister for NFS&R Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan said, the government is fully cognizant of the need to address emerging issues related to food security faced by resource-poor farmers and rural communities. He was flanked by Secretary NSFR Dr. Muhammad Hashim Popalzai on a day aimed at raising awareness about food insecurity and working towards a zero hunger Pakistan by 2030. Diplomats, ministers, government officials, civil society members and representatives of UN agencies and farmers also attended the seminar.

Oxfam’s Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash said, “It is encouraging that fewer children, women and men are going hungry today. However, we must not forget the paradox that millions of small-scale food producers, who produce most of the world’s food, are themselves at risk of going hungry. This World Food Day, we have a chance to address this situation.” Qazilbash asked Mehboob Sultan to involve rural women farmers in policy making so they could access the resources they need to fight poverty and hunger.

The seminar was followed by a food security stunt at Safa Gold Mall to raise awareness that human suffering should never be an ingredient of the food we eat. Yet, around the world, millions of women and men are forced to work long hours in inhumane conditions for little rewards, while hugely powerful corporate food giants are cashing in big profits. The burden of this injustice falls more heavily on women, who face discrimination, get paid less than men and are denied the basic human and legal rights.

Women farmers exhibited a food stall with staple food items and quick facts about the human suffering experienced by those who grow, catch and process that food. University students recorded the impressions of visitors to the stall.

An Oxfam analysis of policies and public investments in six countries shows that women farmers are not getting the resources they need to feed their families and communities and adapt to climate change. Developing countries must invest more in small-scale agriculture, especially to women who play a vital role in food security. Agriculture needs to be rebuilt along entirely different lines and poor farmers made central to that change.

This year’s theme of World Food Day was ‘Our Actions are Our Future – A Zero Hunger World by 2030 is possible.’