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Family farming to be the focus of 2014 World Food Day



This year’s World Food Day will focus on family and small scale farming as ways to improve food security and protect the environment.

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October 16, 1981 was the date in which the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) was founded and has since been established as the World Food Day.

This year, the theme is Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth, suggesting that family-based agricultural activities can play a key role in eradicating hunger and protecting the environment at the same time.

The FAO has made 2014 the international year of family farming – which is also the central theme of Slow Food’ Salone del Gusto, to be held in Turin later this month.

According to FAO’s 2013 figures, nearly 850 million people worldwide suffer from chronic hunger.

FAO director general José Graziano da Silva wrote in an opinion article, “Around 500 million of the world’s 570 million farms are run by families. They are the main caretakers of our natural resources.

“When family farmers are stronger, it is a win-win situation: more food available locally translates into more food security and into the possibility of producing and buying food for and in local markets.

“These efforts lead to sustainable territorial rural development, something that everyone – farmers, communities and governments –should invest in. When we combine productive support to social protection and other public support such as better access to health facilities and schools, we can create a truly virtuous sustainable development cycle”.

Ahead of World Food Day, Unilever’s brand Knorr announced its support for the World Food Programme’s Home Grown School Meals Programme, to provide one million meals to school pupils in Kenya, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Photo: Parker Knight via flickr

Further reading:

World wasting up to half of global food

Food bank use continues to rise, with 54% increase in 12 months

Climate change will trigger global food crisis, says World Bank official

Farmers affected by climate change could be helped by new resilient rice

World needs to sustainably produce 70% more food by 2050