The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAL) Ethel Frances is urging citizens to plant and eat healthy nutritious food and not processed food.

PS Frances was speaking during the International World Food Day programme broadcasted live through the national broadcaster (SIBC) and livestreamed on SIBC facebook page on Friday 16 October.

“…let us all (citizens) endeavour to plant and eat a lot of healthy nutritious food. Not resort to easily available processed food like noodles. These choices kills us,” Ms. Ethel said.

She said there is a new emerging dimensions for Food Security – malnutrition and all related diseases that results from our Food and drink intake.

“…the issue of food insecurity is not only to do with hunger but the quality of food we take.

“Non-communicable disease is the worst killer in our country today.

“We are scared of covid-19 but 2 out of 5 people are dying every week in our country today due to non-communicable diseases. And the major cause is what we eat and drink,” she said.

The Permanent Secretary urged everyone to eat healthy food.

Ms Frances also appeals to mothers and sisters out there that you have a huge role in determining how healthy the status of your household because of your role in making choices as to what to cook for your families every day.

Meanwhile, Ms. Ethel said the event (world food day) has brought the world together to remember and bring awareness to the issue of HUNGER, an issue that God himself had it all planned out well for us in the Garden of Eden.

“…there was no question about food security as food was divinely supplied - but due to the fall of men humanity was expelled to toil the land – that is farm- to look after themselves and so the command to farm for the survival started back then – the starting of agriculture.

“Hunger has become a major problem around the world today and is becoming worst during this covid-19 pandemic. Predictions are that more than a quarter billions of people will be suffering acute hunger by end of this year. It is going to be the biggest killer because of the large numbers of people now out of jobs.

“As a nation, we are so blessed with land resources and that is where our Food Security lies. Our Food Security is in the abundance of land God bless us with,” the Permanent Secretary emphasized.

This year’s world food day was celebrated with the theme: Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our Actions are our future.

“Hunger is the issue that created the need for a World Food Day so we remind ourselves every year of this and take action to change it.

“The message is very clear. ACTIONS. Our actions determines our future. In terms of Food Insecurity, the answers lies in us taking action, collective actions as households, community and as a nation,” she stressed.

She said our cure for hunger is very simple – plantim kakai.

World Food Day is an annual event to honor formation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in 1945.

The commemoration on 16th October also coincided with the 75th anniversary of FAO.

Source: MAL