THE Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) is committed to support families in the country to grow enough food to provide themselves with a daily balanced diet.
This statement was uttered by the Minister for MAL, Augustine Auga, when delivering his keynote address to open of the World Food Day celebration and a two-day ‘Agriculture Show’ at Town Ground on Wednesday.
“MAL is committed to support every rural and urban family and the country to ensure that we grow enough food that can sustain us with a balanced diet every day,” he said.
The World Food Day and Agriculture is a three-day programme that will conclude on Friday.
The MP for Lau Mbaelelea highlighted that ‘Food Security’ and nutrition is a key programme in the new Agriculture Sector Growth Strategy and Investment Plan 2021-2030 (ASGSIP) approved by the ruling Democratic Coalition Government for Change in 2021.
“This is my government’s commitment to food and MAL’s priority to step by step bring order and sustainability to every family and household.
“We are committed to ensure that each child will have enough nutritious food in their homes and schools,” he said.
Mr Auga reiterated yesterday that food is fundamental.
“If there is no food, we die.
“If there is wrong food, we become sick.
“If we eat less and less of a balanced diet, we become stunted and sickly,” he said.
The theme for this year’s Agriculture Show and World Food Day is “LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND.”
Mr Auga said, “It is a noble theme because it is simple and clear.
“If no one is left behind then it means everyone has moved forward.
“My Ministry is standing behind this noble theme and we want to secure the partnership of all our donor partners, multilateral agencies and all of your stakeholders.
Mr Auga also took the opportunity to acknowledge the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for taking MAL back to these fundamental steps.
“Thank you, FAO, for taking us back to the fundamental steps.”
Chairlady for the Agriculture Show and World Food Day Organising Committee, Lily Wame said the three-day event is being marked with multiple global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, climate change, rising prices and international tensions.
“All this is affecting food security,” she said.
Mrs Wame who is also the Deputy Director of Extension Department said ‘World Food Day’ is observed annually on 16th October to highlight the millions of people world-wide who cannot afford a healthy diet and the need for regular access to nutritious food.
At the Justice Ground, government ministry stalls and those of key stakeholders such as FAO and private sector businesses display the services and products they offer. The public and students take time to visit the stalls to see displayed products and to learn of services offered by government ministries and agriculture stakeholders, including private businesses. Farm produces are also sold.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock encourages students and the public to learn about the essentials of food and how ‘we’ can grow our own food.
The official programme commenced with a float parade by MAL, stakeholders, NGOs, schools and the members of the public from Honiara City Council car park to the Justice Ground at Town Ground at around 7 am.
By LACHLAN EDDIE
Solomon Star, Honiara