18 October, Thimphu: The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan joined the nation to observe the World Food Day which is marked every year on 16thof October. It celebrated the creation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to promote worldwide awareness and action for those suffering from hunger and in acknowledgment of the importance and need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. The world Food Day, this year marked the 76thanniversary of the FAO of the United Nation.
This year the day was observed in a simple ceremony on 18thOctober at the Ministry of Agriculture & Forests conference hall with the close involvement of various stakeholders. The day celebrated the global theme for 2021 released by FAO Rome “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”. The event commenced with the lighting of butter lamps, offering of Zhabten, video speech from FAO Director General and keynote address on the World Food Day from the Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo.
Also present at the event were H.E UN Representative, Gerald Daly, Country representatives of FAO, WFP, UNICEF, JICA, Secretaries of MoH and MoAF, Director Generals, Directors and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests.
The day reinforced the need to encourage awareness on sustainable agricultural practices and to celebrate the ‘Food Heroes’ who work tirelessly to provide food for the world, collectively call for global solidarity in ensuring adequate access to nutritious food for all against despite exigencies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo during his keynote speech acknowledged all the farmers and growers for their unwavering dedication in pursuing clean and healthy food production for the entire country. He also acknowledged the little efforts made by each individual, including school children who grow food as part of their school curriculums, which he said has an important contribution in realizing the larger goals of food nutrition and security.
Hon’ble Sanam Lyonpo also stated that the Royal Government of Bhutan is delighted to integrate the FAO global theme into our own strategies for food and nutrition security. He stated that we must use and draw on such international platforms to raise awareness on the need for supporting the transformation into more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for enhanced production, improved nutrition, safer environment, and a better life while leaving no one behind as enshrined in the UN’s SDG imperatives.
As a part of the celebration, H.E UN Representative, Gerald Dalyalso highlighted on two important messages pertaining to covid 19 & food security and strategies of UN policy on “leave no one behind”.
Reported by Tashi Yangzom with pictures by Choidup Zangpo, ICTD
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