World Food Day, 16 October 2011

By Seniorl Anzu

The annual World Food Day, which falls on October 16, will be observed throughout the world this weekend. Since this year’s day is Sunday, most organisers will adjust to whatever days appropriate while the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations will observe the day on Monday October 17 with a series of events at its headquarters in Rome.

The theme for this year is “Food prices – from crisis to stability”.

The event coincides with FAO’s 60th Anniversary.

Extract from FAO: “Between 2005 and 2008, the world’s staple food prices soared to their highest levels in 30 years. During the last 18 months of that period, maize price increased by 74 percent while that of rice almost tripled, climbing a whole 166 percent.

Food riots broke out in more than 20 countries. Editorialists decreed the end of cheap food. Economists believed that the kind of price roller-coasters experienced since 2006 are likely to recur in the coming years. In other words food price volatility – the technical term for the phenomenon – has probably come to stay.

“Food prices – from crisis to stability” has been chosen as this year’s World Food Day theme to shed some light on this trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable. Price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries. Hardest hit are the poor. According to the World Bank, in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty.

On World Food Day 2011, let us look seriously at what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society.”

For more information, visit the FAO site.

Rabaul mangos from PNG

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