Tomorrow is ‘World Food Day’
October 15, 2013

Tomorrow is ‘World Food Day’

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 16, people around the globe will observe World Food Day, under the theme: “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.”{{more}}

Minister of Agriculture Saboto Ceasar and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves will deliver national addresses to mark the occasion. This year is even more significant for St Vincent and the Grenadines, the country having surpassed the millennium goal for halving hunger ahead of schedule, a feat which resulted the Food and Agriculture Organisation awarding this country earlier this year in Rome.

Over the past week, staff at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Lands, and Rural Transformation have been hosting a number of activities leading to tomorrow’s observance.

Tree-planting exercises were held at a number of schools, including the Sugar Mill Academy and Windsor Primary School last Wednesday, and the George Stephens Secondary and Owia Primary last Thursday.

At these schools, the staff, led by chairperson of the World Food Day Committee Cherrie Dennie-Edward, explained to the students the importance of maintaining trees on the landscape of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The supply of foods, protection of water supplies, providing shelter from the sun, stabilizing the soil, were among the many areas noted by the staff in which trees play an integral role in affording residents a sustainable and healthy environment in which all live.

With Minister Ceasar now back on island following a trip overseas last week, he will lead the tree-planting exercises at a number of schools at four different locations today.

On Friday, the C.W. Prescod Primary, and Thomas Saunders Secondary Schools, respectively, were hosted by the Ministry at the Orange Hill Farm, where the students were given a guided tour of the facility.

The students were astonished to learn that there was no cost to the farmers for tissue culture plants, and that anyone with a desire to commence farming could acquire the plants.

The staff explained different agricultural practices to the students, including sanitizing soils before planting, sheltered and open-field planting, irrigation methods, protection of the soils, utilizing various forms of specialized plastic, and fish-farming.

The students were also able to sample the JuJubee apple, many of them for the first time. They were quite taken by the fruit, which was introduced to the island by the Taiwanese agriculture mission many years ago.

Many of the students have indicated that they would like to return for a visit, for although they have learnt a lot, they felt that they had not scratched the surface.

They told the staff that they now see agriculture as an exciting profession, and will pay greater attention to it and the related subjects in school.

Following the students’ tour of the Orange Hill Farm, the Ministry of Agriculture staff returned to finalize preparation for the Fish and Madungo Night, at the Calliaqua Playing Field.

Despite the intermittent rainfall, the event proved a success, with residents – young and old, from surrounding communities, and even those further afield, journeying to Calliaqua to sample the fish dishes on offer.

Patrons indicated that the Ministry should host the event more frequently, for it does more than encourage persons to utilize locally produced foods; it is also a social event.

The day’s and week of activities will end with an exhibition at Heritage Square.(RH)