Wednesday, 16 October 2013


“So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.” - Franz Kafka

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme. The World Food Day theme for 2013 is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”.

It is a day when countries around the world, take tally of achievements made toward food security and work on the inventory of the work that must continue to finally end world hunger. It is a day devoted to raising awareness of the unequal access to food and production resources that exist across current world food systems. Above all else, one needs to highlight the reality of working collaboratively to create and spread the political will that promises nutritious food for everyone, everywhere.

To live in a world free of hunger, nations must create food systems that ensure a plentiful supply of nutritious food with minimal impact on the environment. Food systems must take into account sustainability in every step of the supply chain: From production to processing, transportation to retail, and consumption to post-consumption waste. Without a focus on sustainability, food systems may not produce the healthy, nutritious food that we all deserve.

The world’s population is growing by 80 million people each year. This means that there will be 219,000 people at the dinner table tonight who were not there last night. Many of these people will have nothing to eat. In Nigeria, 27 percent of families experience foodless days. In India it is 24 percent, in Peru 14 percent. Not eating at all on some days is how the world’s poorest are coping with the doubling of world grain prices since 2006. The world is in transition from an era dominated by surpluses to one defined by scarcity.

The response to this looming crisis needs to be global, collaborative and immediate. Initiatives surrounding sustainable food production are tied up with climate change and environmental issues, which if ignored can lead not only to depredation of ecosystems planet-wide, but massive famines that will claim the lives of millions upon millions of people worldwide.


  1. It makes sense to link food production to the climate change and environmental issues as you say, but we don;t often hear of this association...