World Food Day Current Affairs

16 October: World Food Day

The World Food Day is observed globally on 16 October to mark foundation of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. The theme for the year 2017 is “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.”

The World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger and aims to raise public awareness about hunger challenges and encourage people around world to take action in fight against hunger. This day also shows commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030. Events organised to celebrate this day promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

Background

The World Food Day was instituted in November 1979 by FAO’s Member Countries at its 20th General Conference of to raise awareness of issues behind poverty and hunger. The day was observed for the first time it on 16 October 1981 and idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide was mooted by Hungarian Delegation to FAO.

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

FAO is specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Its parent organization is UN Economic and Social Council (UNESC). It is neutral forum serving both developed and developing countries where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy.

It was established on 16 October 1945 and its headquarters are in Rome, Italy. Its motto is “Let there be bread”. It has 194 member states, along with the European Union (member organization)

FAO meet the demands posed by major global trends in agricultural development and challenges faced by member nations. It helps countries in transition modernize and improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices, ensuring good nutrition and food security for all.

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Zero Hunger Programme to be launched in October

India’s ambitious Zero Hunger Programme through interventions in farm sector will be launched on occasion of World Food Day (October 16) with focus on agriculture, nutrition and health in a symbiotic manner.

The Programme will be initiated by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) in association with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), MS Swaminathan Research Foundation and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

Key Facts

The programme consists of organisations of farming system for nutrition, setting up genetic gardens for biofortified plants and initiation of ‘Zero Hunger’ training. A genetic garden for biofortified plants contains germplasm of naturally biofortified crops through plant breeding. It has plants and crops that help supplement micro-nutrient deficiencies, including iron, zinc, vitamin A and iodine among others.

The Programme initially will be launched in three districts – Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Koraput (Odisha) and Thane (Maharashtra). These three districts will act as model of integrated approach to deal with hunger and malnutrition by adopting suitable agricultural or horticultural practices.

The Programme will ensure suitable methods of measuring impact of intervention by identifying the nutritional maladies in each district and applying appropriate agricultural/horticultural and animal husbandry remedies.

This dedicated farm-based programme is in sync with India’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end hunger by 2030. It will be in addition government’s plan to deal with issue of malnutrition through various other initiatives under its goal to make India malnutrition free by 2022.

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