DHAKA: The World Food Day will be observed today with an emphasis on strengthening food security and rural economy to face the untoward situation of migration, now considered a great challenge across the globe.
“Change the future of migration, invest in food and rural development” has been fixed as the theme of the day.
The world is on the move. More people have been forced to flee their homes than at any time since the Second World War due to increased conflict and political instability. But hunger, poverty, and an increase in extreme weather events linked to climate change are other important factors contributing to the migration challenge.
In 2015, there were 244 million international migrants, 40 per cent more than in 2000. A large share of migrants come from rural areas where more than 75 per cent of the world poor and food insecure depend on agriculture and resource based livelihood, according to the FAO.
Under the situation, rural development can address factors that compel people to move by creating business opportunities and jobs for young people that are not only crop-based (such as small dairy or poultry production, food processing or horticulture enterprises). It can also lead to increased food security, more resilient livelihoods, better access to social protection, reduced conflict over natural resources and solutions to environmental degradation and climate change, the FAO added.
On the eve of the day, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in separate messages wished the Day and its programmes a success.
In his message, the President called upon all including scientists and extension workers to pay their attention to inventing new crop varieties, technology and extension suitable to adopt with climate change.
He advised farmers to utilize modern technology to attain the objective. The coordination of sustainable technology is essential in agriculture for building a safe food security for all under changing climate atmosphere, he said.
The Prime Minister in her message put emphasis on ensuring integrated investment in food processing industries to ensure food security, saying that opportunities like self employment and agrobased trade need to be increased.
In 1979, following a proposal by Dr Paul Romani, a Hungarian scientist, the Day was adopted as “World Food Day” at the 20th General Assembly of FAO.