World Food Day observed in Skopje
16 October 2019
- “Our Actions are our future: HEALTHY DIETS for a #ZeroHunger World
With today’s event in Skopje on the occasion of World Food Day, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and partners called on enhanced action for ending hunger and other forms of malnutrition and for the need to ensure food security and healthy diets for all.
With the slogan “Our actions are our future. Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world”, FAO together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, the Primary School "Krste Misirkov" - Gazi Baba and the CSO "Slow Food Vodno" this year again focused on raising public awareness of the importance of sustainable food production and healthy nutrition for achieving a Zero Hunger world.
“Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about feeding the hungry”, said Rossana Dudziak, UN Resident Coordinator at the event. “It’s also about nourishing people with healthy diets that include a sufficient variety of safe and nutritious foods, while maintaining the health of the planet on which we all depend” she added. She stressed that we need to change our focus from producing more food - to producing healthier food.
According to Rossana Dudziak, governments must put in place policies and regulations to make nutritious foods available, accessible and affordable. She noted that food and nutrition education needs to be introduced and expanded where applicable. “We can support local food producers, adopt a more nutritious diet, reduce food waste, be more environmentally conscious” she emphasized.
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, Trajan Dimkovski stated that our country is committed to work with all UN member states to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal "Zero Hunger", but it requires action and commitment across all sectors, professions and individuals. He pointed out that climate change threatens to reduce both the quality and quantity of crops, lowering yields, and therefore it is crucial to apply smart practices to produce diverse and quality food while protecting biodiversity and natural resources, thus increase the resilience of agricultural production to climate change.
This year’s World Food Day targets students and youth, stressing the importance of school gardens as a powerful tool to improve the quality of nutrition and education of children, their families and communities. The primary school “Krste Misirkov” in Skopje is an excellent example of adding a practical environmental and nutrition education in the regular school programme, through its own school garden for growing fruits and vegetables.
As the UN Resident Coordinator pointed out, “school gardens are a great way to get children to learn about nutrition and make the connection between growing food and good diets, develop life skills and increase environmental awareness”.
The event was marked by numerous activities, including a lecture on "Healthy Nutrition - It's Time for Change" by Dragan Jovanov, phytomedicine and agroecology expert, exhibition of healthy meals prepared by the students of the primary school "Krste Misirkov", poster drawings for the World Food Day Poster Contest 2019 , and a culinary workshop where students and Slow Food Vodno chefs prepared healthy snacks with fresh produce from the school garden.
According to the UN’s State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 the number of undernourished people in the world is increasing. More than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, but at the same time overweight and obesity continue to increase in all regions, particularly among school-age children and adults. From the farm to the plate, our food systems currently favour production of high-yielding staple crops and agricultural practices that have a negative impact on natural resources and biodiversity. There is an urgent need to reverse these trends to achieve Zero Hunger and better nutrition by 2030.