This year’s World Food Day theme locally and at the global level is: “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too”.
The celebration marks 71st Anniversary of the founding of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1945.
The day – which this year falls on Sunday, 16 October – will be observed on Friday, 14 October at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, and in Rwanda on Thursday, 20 October.
Below is the message of the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, José Graziano da Silva on the occasion of the World Food day 2016.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This year, World Food Day is devoted to analyzing how food and agriculture should evolve in order to face the impacts of climate change.
Erratic weather patterns and the increase of pest and disease outbreaks are affecting agricultural productivity and therefore undermining global food security.
As usual, the poorest and most hungry people suffer the most. 80 percent of them live in rural areas.
They earn their living and feed their families from the very sector that bears the brunt of the impacts.
Climate change is already undermining our efforts to end hunger and all other forms of malnutrition by 2030.
Nearly 800 million people remain food insecure nowadays.
Almost 160 million children under the age of five are stunted.
There is growing international recognition that the agricultural sectors can play a transformative role in addressing the impacts of climate change.
World Food Day 2016 is an opportunity to identify how best to respond to these challenges.
Actions to promote resilience in agriculture cut across the usual distinction between adaptation and mitigation.
In fact, as we promote adaptation, we also mitigate the effects of climate change.
In the COP 21 last December in Paris, most countries included agriculture in their Nationally Determined Contributions.
In November, these countries will gather for COP 22 in Morocco to put these pledges into motion.
By working together, we can seize the transformative potential of the agricultural sectors.
The climate is changing, food and agriculture must change too.