35th World Food Day Celebrated at Martsala

Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony

October 16, Samdrupjongkhar: The Martsala geog is one of the remotest geogs in Samdrupjongkhar, it celebrated its first World Food Day at the Martsala Middle Secondary School. Samdrupjongkhar is the 17th Dzongkhag to celebrate the Day in the country. The day marks the foundation day of FAO and its 70th birth anniversary celebrating the theme “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty.”

Hon’ble Sherig Lyonpo Mingboo Drukpa accompanied by the Hon’ble Chairperson of World Food Day committee, Dasho Namgay Wangchuk, Director General for BAFRA graced the opening of the event by hoisting the National flag along with the United Nation’s flag. As a tribute, the gathering also offered the Zhabten to His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo and dedicated the event to His Majesty’s 60th Birth Anniversary.

Display of Farmer's product
Display of Farmer’s product

Dasho Namgay Wangchuk said, ‘The world food day is celebrated every year throughout the world’. He noted that Bhutan has just around 3% arable land cultivated and it has to feed the ever increasing seven hundred thousand people. He also highlighted that availability of food is not enough, and said ‘eating nutritious food is important’ and hence urged the gathering to take care of the lands in the village and work on it to achieve self sufficiency.

Samdrupjongkhar Dzongda pointed out ‘We do not consume the cereal we have, instead we import’ and cited the example of maize which is mostly used for brewing alcohol. He emphasised on the wastage of food and called upon the need in the shift of thinking stating ‘If we keep on wasting, we would never solve the problem or attain self sufficiency and self reliance’. Dasho also highlighted the importance of School Agriculture Programme (SAP). ‘We have been coordinating the agriculture programs in school. We are teaching them to eat nutritious food and new techniques in farming which can be imbibed by our farmers’, said Dasho Dzongda.

The day was coordinated by CoRRB in collaboration with FAO and Department of Education. Various cultural programs and extempore speech by the Martsala was organised. The community of Martsala participated in a quiz competition. The event also saw the display of stalls with farmers’ products and food.

Awarding of SAP awards
Awarding of SAP awards

The day concluded with a presentation of annual SAP awards. Damphu Higher Secondary School bagged the best agriculture farm award and Samtengang Central School in Wangdue received the best agriculture farm for middle secondary schools category. Wangbama Central School in Thimphu won the lower secondary school category while Zhangkhar Primary School in Lhuentse won the award in the primary school category. Awarding of prizes for the literary competition was also done.

The day created awareness and educated public on the modern agriculture techniques, importance of eating nutritious food and to strengthen economic status to earn their livelihood to fight against the rural poverty.

-Reported by Tashi Yangzom, ICS

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