World Food Day message by the Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, Flavien Joubert ‘Our actions are our future’ |16 October 2021
“Today, October 16, 2020 we celebrate once more the World Food Day. The theme for this year is‘Our actions are our future - Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life’ which is in line with the government’s approach to increase local production and ensure food and nutrition security for the country.
“This year we celebrate the 41st observance of the World Food Day and also celebrates the 76th anniversary of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on October 16, 1945.
“At the 42nd Session of the FAO Conference, which was held in June, members endorsed the Strategic Framework 2022-2031, setting out the organisation’s roadmap to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life, leaving no one behind. The World Food Day campaign this year focuses on translating this vision into action.
“World Food Day draws the world’s attention once again to the impact of the
Covid-19 pandemic on the global agri-food systems, the loss of livelihoods, increased food insecurity and inequality, and the need to transform agri-food systems.
“This year’s theme for World Food Day’s celebrations is very fitting to the occasion, a theme that provides the moral impetus and urges us to go along together, to get up, rebuild and consolidate the future. This theme is the most appropriate in this time where all stakeholders must surmount the challenges of 2020 and 2021.
“This occasion is well suited to present the result of the national dialogues on the food systems which was undertaken and presented during the United Nation Food System summit on September 23, 2021. The result of the dialogues also presented the vision and the process which will set the new strategy for the national agricultural sector.
“Within the framework for the United Nation Food System the current agricultural sector strategy document is being reviewed with the vision to ‘Transform our local food and nutrition production landscape to a more self-sufficient system’. The vision captures the collective spirit, inner call and passion of the farming communities to bring to life the imperative of food sovereignty in terms of local food economies, cultural and innovation appropriateness, and sustainable food availability.
“The main underpinning goals operationalise the vision and provide the focal points for resources and effort allocation are:
1. Increase the volume of local production in relation to total consumption of livestock to 80%, local fruits & vegetables to 90% and carbohydrates to over 50% (based on the list of priority crops and livestock of 2018).
2. Achieve sustainability of currently over-exploited demersal fish species (red snapper, groupers) and improve the consumption of under-utilised fisheries resources.
3. Strengthen the ability of our local food producers to adapt to climate change.
4. Build the national capacity and capability to improve the country’s strategic food reserve for a minimum period of six months.
5. Grow the sector GDP contribution by a minimum of 5% compound annual growth rate based on the sector GDP baseline figure of 2019 at constant prices.
6. Reduce the prevalence of diet related diseases.
7. Exceed the applicable targets of Sustainable Development Goal 2.
The eight strategic pathways are the main priority areas that provide the framework for the proposed projects ideas which are to:
1. Improve the governance and regulatory framework to protect core policy decisions and to improve the ease of doing business;
2. Transform the food value chain to build a more productive and competitive local food production system;
3. Embed sustainability and climate smart international standards and recommended practices (ISARP) in the local ways of working;
4. Re-calibrate the investment models to facilitate access to finance in terms of domestic direct investment, catalytic funds, foreign development grants and low cost financing instruments for investors and producers;
5. Strengthen the capacity & capabilities of support institutions to deliver better services;
6. Invest in local talent development and management to support the transformation process;
7. Drive food product innovation and diversification using local ingredients and market penetration and development to rebalance dietary preferences in favour of local farm commodities;
8. Activate healthy living educational programmes to reverse the obesity trend and other diet related diseases.
The mentioned above goals and strategic pathways will surely lead us to our mission of ensuring food and nutrition security and sovereignty.
“To commemorate the FAO World Food Day, I would like to take this occasion to thank all individuals, all farmers be it commercial or backyard farmers and all food producing entrepreneurs engaging in any part of the food systems, for their noble cause and the effort made to feed our population with safe and nutritious food from our land and sea. Celebrating the World Food Day is a way of acknowledging the key role of all stakeholders so that we can live healthily with limited dependency on importation.
“A happy World Food Day to all!”