The 16th of October is World Food Day. It is the day to celebrate the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the day to highlight continuing work for improved food security and nutrition worldwide.
In Sweden, World Food Day is organized by the Swedish FAO committee and will be celebrated on the 14th of October. SIANI is involved in the preparations, so keep an eye on the updates on our website! If you would like to organize an event or an activity of your own, there are many guiding tips on the FAO’s website.
The theme for this year’s World Food Day is “Climate is changing, food and agriculture must too”. The agricultural sector is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, accounting for around 20-25% of global emissions. Emissions occur from a number of sources, including deforestation to make room for new crops and intensive livestock systems. At the same time, agriculture is also strongly affected by climate change. Since a large number of the world’s poor live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for food and for livelihood, changing and erratic weather patterns strike hard against the already vulnerable. World Food Day is a call for investing in improved sustainable agricultural practices, especially for these smallholder farming systems.
One way of doing so is by combining Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Smart Agriculture. This can also lead to improvements in other areas such as health, gender equality, economic growth and education. In other words, there is everything to gain and nothing to lose from creating a more food secure world, in which farming can be a viable business and a way to maintain environmental sustainability, while also producing enough food to feed everyone.
But what does a sustainable farming system mean and how can we make it work? On a global scale, this includes everything from reducing food waste to farming with an ecosystem-based approach in mind. By increasing e.g. crop diversity and growing crops which suit better for future local conditions, farmers can become more economically independent as well as less vulnerable to weather extremes.
There are also things that each of us can do! Every day we make a lot of choices about what we eat and consume. Instead of consumption that contributes to environmental degradation and unjust living conditions of farmers, we need to change our food systems in a way that encourages sustainable agriculture which would work in harmony with nature and create value for producers and for consumers. For that, we also need to be curious about sustainable food production and spread the word about good examples to inspire others.