By Ebrima Jallow
Catalunya and The Gambia Foundation for Women and Children, in partnership with We are the Solution – an international organisation that works to empower rural women farmers, last week joined the rest of the globe to commemorate World Food Day.
Celebrations marking the event were staged at Buffer Zone in Tallinding, under the theme acting for the future, healthy eating for a zero hunger world.
The Day is celebrated globally on every 16 October to raise awareness on issues surrounding hunger and malnutrition.
Mariama Jadama, coordinator of We are the Solution, promised that her organisation will henceforth participate in the crusade to tackle global hunger and the raising of awareness to end world hunger.
She said: “According to a UN report, world hunger which is driven by conflicts and climate change, is on the rise. More than 820 million people worldwide are still going hungry,” Ms Jadama reported.
According to her, achieving the target of zero hunger by 2030 is an “immense challenge”. One way to achieving this is to encourage family farming by growing what we eat and the use of agro ecology, she said.
“Current changes in our agriculture are often a source of problems, particularly with the improper introduction of chemical inputs and GMOs that affect the balance of the soil. It is by relying on the dialogue and the discussion with all the authorities that we will be able to preserve our productive soil,” she said.
Fatou Jammeh Touray, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, said the Day is to work to strengthen international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.
She said: b”We must encourage the growing of diverse crops, rear more animals including poultry and fish farming for food self-sufficiency, good health and increase in GDP.
Agriculture is the mainstay of The Gambia’s economy, providing employment for about 70 percent of the poor and 91 percent of the extremely poor. Due to insufficient production to meet the national food requirement, the country is obliged to use scarce foreign exchange to import about 50 percent of its requirement,” the DPS said.
She said the government, as enshrined in its National Development Plan, aims to modernise agriculture for food self-sufficiency and economic advancement for both the country and her people.
Locally produced food varieties were displayed to showcase Gambian culinary.