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FAO in Namibia

Commemorating World Food Day 2018

30/10/2018

In keeping with global practice, the Representation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Namibia supported the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) to host the 2018 World Food Day (WFD) commemoration 2018 on 30 October 2018. As the current SADC chair, Namibia adopted the new regional approach to WFD observances that were piloted by South Africa (the immediate past chair) and adopted by the SADC Ministers in 2017.  Namibia therefore hosted their first ever regional WFD commemoration on 30 October 2018 in Bunya Village, Kapako Constituency in Kavango West Region.  This global annual observance, celebrates the founding of the FAO.

The theme for 2018 was “Our actions are our future: a Zero Hunger world by 2030 is possible”. The theme highlighted the crucial role each and every individual across the continent and the globe can play in the fight against hunger, noting that all climate action decisions made today can impact the future.

The commemoration was hosted in Bunya village in the Kapako Constituency in Kavango West Region. During the event, donations of agricultural inputs and foodstuffs were distributed to ten identified beneficiaries. An additional 200 vulnerable households within the region were also identified and later provided with agricultural inputs and foodstuffs. Hon. Alpheus !Naruseb, the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (who spoke on behalf of the guest of honour, the Vice President of Namibia, Hon. Nangolo Mbumba) was present at the event and officially launched the food mountain of donated food items that was then distributed to the above mentioned 200 households in the region. The food mountain, is a symbolic gesture of producing more food to feed the nation. During his remarks he highlighted the importance of farmers having markets to sell their produce and underscored the government’s commitment to enable farmers to earn sustainable livelihoods through agriculture.

The South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Hon. Senzeni Zokwana, was also present and made remarks highlighting the current state of food insecurity in the SADC region and stressed the potential pivotal role that agriculture could play in the region in poverty alleviation and economic transformation.

The FAO Representative in Namibia, Ms Farayi Zimudzi, delivered the Director-General’s remarks, which highlighted the growing numbers of food insecure people in the world, and called for action against malnutrition. According to the DG, “Governments have the most fundamental role in achieving Zero Hunger by ensuring that vulnerable people have sufficient income to buy the food they need, or the means to produce it for themselves – even in times of conflict.”

The FAO Representative and the Head of SADC Food and Natural Resources (FANR) Sector, presented cheques to local farmers in the region to enable them to acquire inputs for improved production.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, also presented vegetable seed and some garden tools to the traditional leadership in the Constituency.

In addition, as part of the WFD celebration, several trees were planted in a garden in the Bunya Village by the Deputy Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Hon. Aino Kapewangolo, the WFP Country Director in Namibia, Mr Bai Mankay Sankoh; as well as the Ambassadors of Zimbabwe and Zambia to Namibia, among other key stakeholders.

There were also displays showcasing some of the agricultural produce from the host region; from SADC RVAA; from MAWF (tractors and agricultural implements) and from private companies involved in food processing and marketing.