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World Food Day, 16 October 2016

Official WFD Ceremony in Ethiopia

Ethiopia - 16/10/2016

Ethiopia marked the 36th World Food Day on 15 and 16 October 2016 in Arbaminch in Southern Ethiopia through a programme of activities.

 

Exhibition

The WFD celebration in Ethiopia was opened with an exhibition showcasing the agricultural products of local producers including  organic bananas, forest honey, highland fruits, vegetables, root crops, cereals and pulses, spices, woodworks, packed fish, simple fuel efficient technologies, and hand-made clothes. Local communities, especially young people, are organized into cooperatives to produce and sell these items. FAO, MOANRs and UNEP also displayed climate change publications and posters at the exhibition, which were later donated to the zone’s agricultural training college.

 

Farmers Testimony

Two farmers from the local communities shared their experiences on how climate change has affected their livelihoods and how they have coped with the challenge. Farmer Ayele Ayza and Asegedech Shahu explained how they used to rely on rain to grow crops but that their areas have suffered from a shortage of rain over the past years. Using irrigation from well water and lakes, they now grow onions and tomatoes which they use for their own consumption and sell in the local market. By not relying anymore on rain to grow food and instead using alternative irrigation facilities, they have been able to improve their livelihoods.

 

Quiz contest

To involve school children in the WFD 2016 celebrations and raise awareness about the effects of climate change on food security, three high school students from different schools were invited to participate in a quiz. The questions focused on climate change impacts and mitigation in the global and Ethiopian context.

 

Panel Discussion

The WFD panel discussion aimed to raise awareness about the growing impact of climate change on agriculture and food production among key stakeholders – farmers, pastoralists, the government, climate change actors, donors, private sector and the wider public. Four panelists drawn from FAO, MOANRs, WFP and Arbaminch University participated in an hour and a half discussion focusing on the impacts of climate change in Ethiopia and what should be done to mitigate the effects. Wondirad Mandefro, State Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, moderated the discussion.

 

Award ceremony

FAO presented a certificate of recognition to organizations that supported the celebration of WFD 2016. This included the SNPPR President Office, SNPPR Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Gamugofa Zone Administration and Bureau of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, WFP and UNEP. Students that participated in the quiz contest were presented with stationery.

 

Field Visit

World Food Day participants visited field projects related to climate change adaptation and mitigation near Arbaminch. The projects varied between watershed management, organic banana production, a crocodile farm and a fish multiplication and distribution center.