Islamabad (16th October, 2018)…… The theme for World Food Day this year-2018 was “Our Actions are our Future". A # Zero Hunger world by 2030 is possible” Various organizations including Ministry of National Food Security Research, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Food Program (WFP) ,Oxfam and research institutes came together to organize the ceremony at National Agricultural Research Centre on 16th October 2018.
Sahibzada Muhammad Mehboob Sultan, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, was the chief guest at the ceremony. Messages from the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan were read out at the ceremony in which the long standing partnership of Pakistan and FAO was highlighted. Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister Sultan said that World Food Day is celebrated every year for raising awareness of food security and demonstration of solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. This year’s theme “our actions are our future. A # Zero hunger world by 2030 is possible” is relevant to the mandate of Ministry of Food Security and Research. World Food Day theme of this year demands strong commitment of multi-sectorial and multi-stakeholder partnerships to mobilize means of implementation. The Minister further added that the present Govt. has given top priority to uplift agriculture and conserve water in its first 100 days. Certainly, the initiative of the present Govt. of Pakistan will be geared towards reducing hunger to the zero level in Pakistan by the year 2030.
Ms. Minà Dowlatchahi, FAO Representative also addressed the ceremony. Highlighting the completion of 40 years of FAO in Pakistan she said ““We all have to continue to play our respective roles for achieving Zero Hunger in Pakistan. It is encouraging to see Pakistan taking steps in the right direction for reaching this goal. The first National Food Security Policy and the Water Policy provide the framework for action, putting emphasis on agriculture diversification and value addition, resilient climate smart agriculture and water management, improved livelihoods of small holder farmers and tenants, safe drinking water and a National Zero Hunger Program.” She also read out a message from Mr. Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General FAO.
Federal Secretary for MNFS&R, Mr Hashim Popalzai said that peace, progress and prosperity are greatly linked to the food security in a country. Govt. Researchers, NGOs and communities must join hands to achieve this goal with the help of suitable policies, strategies and actions. FAO and its partners can play a leading role in this regard. Agriculture Researchers should increase their efforts to cope with the emerging challenges of our time like climate change. Climate change adaptation and mitigation has significant importance for poverty reduction. Mr. Finbarr Curran, Country Director and Representative, United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Pakistan said at the occasion that ending hunger will require investments in agriculture, rural development, nutrition, social protection and gender equality.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar T.I., Chairman PARCsaid that World Food Day is celebrated every year to review, monitor and strengthen our efforts for food security. This year the day is followed by the theme “Our actions are our future; A # Zero hunger World by 2030 is possible”. Eradicating hunger and malnutrition is one of the great challenges of our time. Not only do the consequences of not enough-or the wrong-food cause suffering and poor health, they also slow progress in many other areas of development like education and employment. To conclude, there is still a long way to go, and no one organization can achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 if it works alone. Therefore, governments, citizens, civil society organizations and the private sector must collaborate to invest, innovate and create lasting solutions.
Dr. Ghulam Muhammd Ali, Director General NARCpaid vote of thanks in the end and said that with the collaboration of international partners we will cope with food security and he is confident that working together, we will find lasting solutions to the root causes of malnutrition in Pakistan and banish hunger to the history books once and for all.
Director (PR&P) PARC
Edited by: Ahmad Mehmood uz Zaman
Senior Editor (English), DSC&P, NARC