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Posted: Tuesday, October 17, 2023. 10:52 am CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: World Food Day was celebrated internationally by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, however here in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) observes the day on Friday, October 20. But, in reality FAO have an entire week of activities, with Thursday, October 19 being observed as Junior World Food Day.

MAFSE will be having activities to observe World Food Day on Friday starting with an official ceremony at 10:00 am at the Orange Walk Technical High School (OWTHS) in Orange Walk. The ceremony will be followed by an expo.

MAFSE said the observation of World Food Day has the objective of causing more awareness and understanding of the importance of addressing world hunger and the significance of water in agriculture.

According to FAO, 150 countries across the world celebrate the day making it one of the ‘most celebrated days of the UN calendar’.

“Hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together governments, municipalities, businesses, CSOs, the media, the public, even youth,” FAO said.

“They promote worldwide awareness of hunger and promote action for the future of food, people, and the planet.

“This year, we are highlighting the crucial role of water in food security and sustainable agriculture with the theme ‘Water is Food, Water is Life, LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND’,” MAFSE said.

Tilapia being farmed at the Belize High School of Agriculture. (MAFSE)

According to FAO water is essential to life on Earth.

“It makes up over 50% of our bodies and covers about 71% of the Earth’s surface,” FAO said.

“Only 2.5% of water is fresh, suitable for drinking, agriculture, and most industrial uses. Water is a driving force for people, economies and nature and the foundation of our food. Indeed, agriculture accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals, but like all natural resources, fresh water is not infinite. 

FAO emphasizes that since water is not finite, we shouldn’t take it for granted and we should all take action and be the change.

“We need to produce more food and other essential agricultural commodities with less water, while ensuring water is distributed equally, our aquatic food systems are preserved, and nobody is left behind,” FAO said. 


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