As part of the week long activities lined up to mark the 2009 World Food Day in Nigeria, the observance of the Day was successfully carried out in various parts of the country. In Abuja, this year’s World Food Day was celebrated in a multi-location setting from 12 to 16 October 2009. The event was held alongside the 2009 National Agricultural Show in Tudun Wada, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, about 45 minutes drive from the capital city, Abuja. Ministries and Agencies of the Federal Government, Private Sector Organizations, Civil Society Groups, NGOs, Farmers Associations and the Diplomatic community in Nigeria jointly collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (FMAWR) and FAO to observe the day.
Posters, brochures, books, leaflets, flyers, t-shirts, face-caps, pens and other promotional materials were produced by FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO, FMAWR, Action-Aid International and the OXFAM GB to arouse public consciousness and draw the attention of government at all levels towards the issue of food security and importance of the World Food Day event.
One of the objectives of the World Food Day celebration was to promote the Declaration of the High-Level Conference on World Food Security, mobilising all stakeholders in order to sustain the development of agriculture among the poorest countries. The week long activities were widely reported in the electronic and print media.
• 12 October: Sensitization Walk for Food
The week long activities to commemorate the 2009 World Food Day commenced on Monday, 12 October with a colourful “Sensitization Walk” within the Abuja metropolis. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources in collaboration with other stakeholders organized the 6-kilometre walk. UN sister agencies including FAO staff, ministry officials, civil societies, NGOs’, farmers associations etc participated in the walk. The participants took off from the Honourable Minister’s gate, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Area 11 through Ahmadu Bello Way, to the Federal Secretariat Complex beside the Office of Head of Service of the Federation, Central Area, Abuja and back to the Ministry.
The Ministry, Action-Aid International and Oxfam GB provided a musical float, with musicians and dancers to entertain participants during the Walk. FAO and stakeholders present were interviewed on the theme and significance of World Food Day celebrations by the press during the event. Speeches were also delivered by them, which were aired in the national and private TV stations.
• 12 – 13 October: Photo/Book Exhibition
A 2-day Photo/book exhibition was organized in the UN House to commemorate the 2009 World Food Day. The exhibition was declared open by the Director of Planning, Policy Analysis and Statistics, Mr. Goddy Onwughalu, representing the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources. The ceremony was attended by about 250 people, including staff of other UN agencies. A departmental competition among seven Departments/Agencies of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources was also held during the exhibition. Two NGOs namely (Action-Aid International and Oxfam GB also participated). Three judges were given 5 criteria (organization, innovation, content, clarity of description and neatness of items displayed) to assess the departments/agencies that participated in the exhibition. The Department of Livestock and Pest Control Services emerged 1st with a total of 83 points while the National Food Reserve Agency came 2nd with 76 points and the Department of Agriculture came 3rd with 68 points.
• 14 October: Quiz Competition amongst Secondary Schools in Abuja
A quiz competition was organized for seven secondary schools within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, as one of the major activities to mark this year’s World Food Day. The competition was declared open by the representative of the Permanent Secretary, FMAWR. Speeches were delivered by the Representatives of FAO, UNICEF and government officials. The ceremony was held in the Banquet Hall of the Merit House, Maitama, Abuja. The schools were represented by ten students and two teachers’ each.
The following schools participated in the competition:
1.Nigerian Turkish International College, Wuse 2,
2.Fou’ad Lababidi Islamic Academy, Wuse
3.Government Girls’ Secondary School, Garki
4.Regina Pacis Girls College, Garki 2
5.School for Gifted Children, Gwagwalada
6.Army Day Secondary School, Maitama and;
7.Government Secondary School, Jabi.
A detailed PowerPoint Presentation was made by UNICEF on Nutrition for Children. FAO Project, ECTAD and UNICEF set some of the questions for the competition. The Nigerian Turkish International College, Wuse 2 came first, while Army Day Secondary School, Maitama and Regina Pacis Girls College, Garki 2 took second and third positions respectively. Certificates and prizes were presented to the participating schools and students by invited dignitaries including FAO and UNICEF Representatives, and the Director of Planning, Policy Analysis and Research, FMAWR. T-shirts, face caps, pens, books, publications, mathematical sets and electronic calculators were provided by FAO, UNICEF, UNESCO and FMAWR to the children and the schools.
• 15 October: Symposium. The Symposium was held on 15 October 2009 at the Conference Hall of the National Agricultural Show Ground in Tudun Wada LGA, Nasarawa State. The symposium was chaired by the Representative of the Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Dr. Salisu Ingawa, who is the Executive Director, National Food Reserve Agency, FMAWR. The Representative of the Minister of Federal Capital Territory Administration delivered the welcome address. Attending the symposium and making statements were: the former Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, Minister of Interior Affairs, Representative of OXFAM GB, Representative of Action-Aid International and the Senate Committee Chairman on Agriculture. An address was presented by the FAO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Helder Muteia. The symposium had two technical sessions. The highlight of the event was a PowerPoint presentation relating to the 2009 WFD theme, presented by nine resource persons which was followed by an interactive session, culminating in a question and answer session. Also, present at the symposium were a number of UN staff, Her Excellency, the wife of the Governor of Adamawa State, Senior Special Adviser to Mr President on NEPAD, Senior Special Adviser to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Millennium Development Goals, IFDC Country Representative, academicians, farmers’ associations, NGOs, school children and the press. The event, which was well covered by national media in Nasarawa State, provided participants with a platform for expressing their views on the theme and activities of FAO in Nigeria.
• 16 October: Agricultural Exhibition
The activities marking the Day kicked off at the National Agricultural Show Ground, Keffi Road, Nasarawa State. The exhibition was chaired by the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Mrs. Fidelia Akuabata Njeze. In her goodwill message, she commended FAO as a UN Agency leading in the fight against hunger and poverty in Nigeria and globally. She restated Government’s commitment to achieving food security by addressing holistically, all issues bordering on agricultural development through specific policies and programmes that would assist in achieving the set economic objectives of agriculture. The goodwill message of the FAO Director-General was presented by the FAO Representative in Nigeria.
The exhibition stands were inspected by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, the FAO Representative in Nigeria and other dignitaries present. Exhibitors from the departments/agencies of Federal Ministries, Parastatals, NGOs, Women Associations and farmers from the Federal Capital territory and the 36 States displayed their farm produce. Awards, certificates and gifts were presented to the best farmers and exhibitors. There were also awards for the best students and schools that participated in the quiz competition held on Wednesday, 14 October 2009 in Abuja.
• 15 October: TeleFood Fund Raising Dinner
The TeleFood Fund Raising dinner which was scheduled to hold on Thursday, 15 October 2009 in Abuja Sheraton Hotels and Towers was postponed to November 2009.
• 8 – 19 October: Media Coverage
The event was widely reported at the national and the 36 states in the media - print, radio and TV. It was shown on the Nigerian Television Authority’s (NTA) Network News, and given primetime coverage on some privately owned television stations as the African Independent Television (AIT), MITV, Channels and Silverbird television stations. The event was also carried on News Spots by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, (FRCN) and other privately owned Radio Stations as Ray Power and Cool FM. Press coverage included news features in the ThisDay, New Nigerian, Daily Trust and Guardian newspapers.
be accorded the theme by all stakeholders.