Phobjikha observes its first World Food Day Celebration

116 October, Wangdue. With the hoisting of United Nations Flag alongside National Flag the 34th World Food Day celebration took off on the grounds of Phobjikha Middle Secondary School, Wangdue.

The event was graced by Dasho Namgay Wangchuk, Director General of Council of RNR Research (CoRRB), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF), Mr. Karma Yeshi, Director General of Department of Education (DoE), Ministry of Education (MoE), Mr. Chador Tenzin country representative of Food and Agriculture organization (FAO), Mr. Dungkar Drukpa representative of World Food programme (WFP), Dasho Dzongrab, other officials from the two ministries, teachers, students and enthusiastic parents and residents from nearby villages gathered to witness the event.

The 16th of October remarked as World Food Day is an annual event, declared in 1981, marking the date of founding of FAO. The day is observed by all the member countries. The 2014 WFD theme “Family Farming: “Feeding the world, caring for the earth” aims at raising the profile of family farming and the small holder farmers. Thus the day draws world’s attention on the significant role played by the family farmers in fighting the Hunger and poverty.

But in our country the World Food Day is celebrated in remote schools with feeding program and having school agriculture activities. The day was coordinated by CoRRB in collaboration with FAO and DoE. The day was marked with various cultural programs by the students of Phojikha Middle Secondary School and the community followed by Quiz competition and displaying of farmers products. The day was also marked by the awarding of prizes for the literary competition held for the School Agriculture Program (SAP) which was established as joint ventures between the above ministries on July 2000. The sole objective of SAP is to produce green fresh vegetables to supplement nutritional values of the younger generations particularly the boarding students.

Similarly, Mr. Karma Yeshi, Director General of DoE pointed out that most of the parents in rural areas are poor and that they face difficulty in providing their children with good food. He stated that the lack of availability of good food affects the enrollment of the children to schools thereby adding “we need food but most importantly nutritious food” as “hungry Stomach cannot study” and stated that with inception of SAP in schools it has helped the students in various ways.

While talking to Mr. Chador Tenzin country representative of FAO, he said that they have started a Farm to School program since 2010 whereby they link community and farming group to school to supply the required produce to the school mess. Further he noted that while talking about nutrition ‘we should focus on availability, consumption and its access by the farming community.’

On the other hand the Director General of CoRRB, Dasho Namgay Wangchuk in his opening remark declared to the present audience to be proud of what they are and encouraged them to spend more time on Family Farming to help reduce imports and to improve nutrition consumption by the younger generations.

Thus aligning with the 11th FYP of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, one of the major national objectives is to ensure food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation. Therefore much efforts has been put by the Ministry on this day to create public awareness and to educate the general public on the efforts made by the concerned agencies in trying to feed the hungry people and to strengthen unity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

 

– Reported by Tashi Yangzom, ICS

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