16 October: World Food Day
World Food Day was observed across the world on 16 October 2014 with the theme Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth.
The UN General Assembly has designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming. This is a strong signal that the international community recognizes the important contribution of family farmers to world food security.
The aim of World Food Day 2014 is to focus world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.
Why family farmers need support to reduce food losses?
Family farming is inextricably linked to national and global food security. Both in developing and developed countries, family farming is the predominant form of agriculture in the food production sector.
Mostly, family farmers lack access to good seeds, adequate storage for crops, transportation and well-functioning markets, as well as financing. By supporting family farmers in these areas, it is possible to reduce food losses and increase farmers' incomes.
Around 500 million out of the 570 million farms worldwide are family farms. These farms account for the production of fruit, vegetables, grain, livestock and fisheries, as well as non-wood forest products. The farms are managed and operated by a family and rely predominantly on family labour.
In Brazil, family farmers provide an average of 40 percent of the production of major crops, while working on less than 25 percent of the farmland. While in the US, family farmers produce 84 percent of all produce working on 78 percent of all farmland.
World Food Day (WFD)
World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16 October globally in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945. The day is celebrated widely by many other organisations concerned with food security including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
World Food Day was established by FAO's Member Countries at the 20th General Conference of FAO in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide during the General Conference.
Since then, it is being observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger. World Food Day was first held on 16 October 1981.