Ghana joins the world on Thursday 16th October with a special flag raising ceremony to observe the 26th World Food Day under the theme: “World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenery.”
The ceremony, which would ushered in a host activities earmarked in Ghana to observe the Day, is aimed at trumpeting the Food and Agricultural Organisation's (FAO) clarion call to expand global awareness in order to reduce the effect of increasingly severe climate patterns on agriculture and the impact of biofuels on food production.
The National Planning Committee under the chairmanship of Mrs Anna Nyamekye, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture has earmarked telefood events such as a “walk for food”, World Food Day Quiz, tree planting exercise, field trips and discussions on the radio and television.
The Secretary to the Planning Committee, Mr Daniel Tetteh-Opata told the Ghana News Agency that all was set to mark the day with the flag raising ceremony at the forecourt of the State House after which other activities mentioned above would follow.
He said since the Day is to commemorate the importance of food availability, safety and security for all populations worldwide, it behoved every Ghanaian and the rest of the world to reflect on the current challenges that confront the world on food production and climate change.
Meanwhile, countries across the globe would also observed the day with events such as symposia, roundtable discussions, concerts, tele-conference on world food issues, Run-for-Food, and a worldwide candlelight vigil.
Commenting on the theme, the FAO's Chief of World Food Day events, Sidaty Aidara said: “Rarely has the celebration of World Food Day assumed greater significance and meaning than at this present time when food prices are soaring at levels that pose greater risk to the increasing number of hungry people.”
The recent High-Level Conference on World Food Security from June 3 to 5 2008 that attracted 181 governments and 41 Heads of State at the FAO headquarters, gave prominence to the implications of the soaring food prices and related issues.
From October 14 to 17, this week, the FAO Committee on World Food Security meeting would assess the food situation again in addition to the organisation of special events to consider specifically, the impact of high food prices on nutrition, food security issues and policy responses.
In its brochure on the World Food Day copied to the Ghana News Agency, the FAO notes that farms would be wiped away and the worst hit will be hundreds of millions of small scale farmers, fishers and forest dependent people who are already vulnerable due to the devastating nature of global warming.
The document therefore reminded the world of the need to adapt to climate change and not allow it to become one more an aggravating factor for hunger.
“With the number of undernourished people currently estimated at more than 860 million, the current global high food prices are not only putting at greater risk the hungry but those also on the brink of poverty,” it said.
It warned also that global warming and bio fuel boom were now threatening to push the number of hungry even higher in the decade to come.
“Climate change will affect the suitability of land, for different types of crops, livestock, fish and pasture. It will also have impact on health and productivity of forest, the incidence of pest and diseases, biodiversity and ecosystems,” the document said.
It said the celebration of the Day should be an occasion for everyone to realise that the weakest members of the global family, would be affected the most by the events.