October16, Trashigang: The World Food Day (WFD) is observed every year on 16 October to mark the foundation day of FAO since its inception in 1945. The day is also marked to understand the various efforts made by UN organizations like FAO, WFO, UNICEF and WHO towards providing nutritious food for needy ones around the globe during the difficult situations. To mark the day, various events were organised in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar.
This year, the day in Bhutan was marked in Sakteng Lower Secondary School, Trashigang with School Agriculture Program (SAP) Annual awards. Around 1600 spectators including students, teachers, government officials, community leaders, farmers, parents and members of UN organizations gathered to mark the day with the global theme, ‘Our actions are our future, healthy diets for zero hunger world,’. The day promoted worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diet for all. WFD is a platform to showcase our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 as well as to celebrate the progress towards reaching Zero Hunger world.
As a part of the day, the Chief Guest, Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo, Yeshey Penjor stressed the importance of achieving food security with domestic production in the country and the importance of each individuals towards food production. He also highlighted the importance of agriculture education through SAP in ensuring food and nutrition security among the school children. He shared the opportunities in agriculture farming and linking farmers to schools for School and Hospital Feeding Programme towards building local and national economy. ‘The rural development and food self-sufficiency are among the top priorities’, he added.
As a part of the celebration, representatives from FAO and WFP highlighted some of the efforts made by the UN Organizations to support the government’s initiatives on food and nutrition security in Bhutan. Fortification of food, Farm to school linkage, menu optimizer were some of the key areas that they would like to be part of the government endeavors in 12th FYP.
The Department of Agriculture with logistical support from Education Ministry, Dzongkhag administration and other technical departments such as DSE, DoL, DoFPs and DAMC displayed traditional cereal Food festival, agriculture tools and service facilities. ARDC Wengkhar and Youth groups has taken the attention of crowd to understand some of the latest technologies on high land agriculture protected farming, electric fencing and drip irrigation. A stall on EM technology for organic farming was displayed and demonstrated by a visiting Japanese expert from APNAN Bangkok among other equally popular stalls in the celebration ground.
The annual Best School Farm Awards for SAP has been one of the important activities during WFD since 2000. This year the annual SAP awards at Higher Secondary to Primary level were taken over by Bajo HSS Wangdue, Yebilaptsa MSS, Zhemgang, Tshaphel LSS, Haa, Wongchiloo PS, Pemagatsel and Zangkhar PS Lhuentse in Model SAP Farm level. All the best school farms were awarded cash prizes, certificates and rolling trophies. The HSS trophy was sponsored by FAO, while MSS and LSS were sponsored by APNAN and the primary level by WFP and Model school by RGoB.
Additionally, various theme related awareness such as poster competition, essay writing competition and treasure hunt for the spectators with cleaning campaign and visit to Sakteng SAP vegetable garden was organised on the day.
The day was jointly organised by the Department of Agriculture, MoAF, Department of School Education, MoE and Dzongkhag Administration,Trashigang with fund support from RGoB, NOFP, FAO, WFP and APNAN.
Reported by Karma Loday with photo by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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