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World Food Day activities — China Chapter: food security and healthy diet

16/10/2019

Today, China’s National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration(NFSRA), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, All China Women's Federation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) jointly hosted the 2019 World Food Day event  and China’s National Food Security Campaign Week (WFD event) in Hefei, China.

This year’s World Food Day theme was “Our actions are our future. Health diets for a zero-hunger world”. As a result of globalization, urbanization and income growth, unhealthy diets have overtaken smoking as the world’s number one risk factor for disability and death worldwide. While 820 million suffer from hunger as we speak, over 670 million adults and 120 million boys and girls (5–19) are obese and over 40 million children under five are overweight. In other words, we are having actually a larger population of the obese and overweight than the hungry. Undernourishment, overweight and obesity, as well as micro nutrient deficiency have formed the triple burden of nutrition across the world, including in China.

 “FAO advocates a food system-based approach for fighting against all forms of malnutrition. We believe that the solutions for malnutrition are rooted in sustainable food production (agriculture, livestock, fisheries, etc.), increased dietary diversity and a change of paradigm in the way we relate to our food,” said Vincent Martin, FAO representative in China and DPR Korea, in his opening remarks at the WFD event today.

China feeds nearly 20% of the global population with 9% of the world's arable land and 6% of freshwater resources, making an important contribution to global food security. The theme of China’s National Food Security Campaign Week this year was “holding tight of the responsibility of food security and build a strong country in the grain industry”.  At the WFD event today, Zhang Wufeng, member of the Party Committee of the National Development and Reform Commission of China and secretary of the Party Group and Director of NFSRA, underlined that the food industry is an important support for the stability of food security, and the reserve security is a strong guarantee,.  At the same time, food security cannot be separated from the joint efforts of all parties. It is necessary to innovate, optimize and improve food system services, and strive to “work for the profits of peasants, the benefits of consumers, and the rights of employees”.

With the deepening of China’s structural supply-side reform and the implementation of Rural Vitalization Strategy, FAO believes that China will embrace a strong, upgraded, innovative and sustainable food industry in the country, which will not only benefit the Chinese people, but also contribute to global food and nutrition security.

The WFD event today gathered more than 1,800 representatives from all sides. At the event, 12 national food security champions and education bases received awards, and the theme of “food security is everyone's responsibility” was promoted nationwide.