October 18, 2013

World Food Day exhibition

Wednesday, October 16 was celebrated as World Food Day and to commemorate the occasion, an Agricultural Festival was held at Heritage Square.{{more}}

The festival, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, featured an exhibition of various aspects of agricultural productivity, including crops, livestock and agro- products.

There were also stalls that served various meals, prepared from only locally produced goods.

With the aim of encouraging the use of local healthy foods in the daily diets of Vincentians, a mobile kitchen was present.

There was also a demonstration on the preparation of traditional meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner which maximize the use of locally grown nutritious foods.

A cultural package comprising performances from various schools and community cultural groups added entertainment to the festival.

Agriculture Minister Saboto Caesar said the objective of Wednesday’s initiative was to showcase the various types of food and other products that can be made from locally grown products.

“We have an abundance of agro-products, crops, livestock and other commodities that are produced here locally. So what better way to commemorate World Food Day than to show to our Vincentian community and the rest of the world, than to showcase our own,” Caesar said.

Caesar said World Food Day is celebrated all over the world, but the St Vincent and the Grenadines chapter has taken on a new dimension.

“We did not only focus on celebrations on October 16, which is actually World Food Day, but we’ve had an entire month of activities. The activities are very important because this helps to create awareness, especially among the youth.

“We have to get more of our youth to eat local, and this festival and other activities held I am hoping can convert some of them,” the minister said with a chuckle.

He, however, noted that one of the prime issues on the agenda for the Ministry of Agriculture 2014-15 will be to address the issue of the national food import bill.

“It is very important that we do this for many reasons. Firstly, we want to ensure that a larger local market is created for our farmers.

“We are importing many agricultural commodities that rightly should be produced locally, consumed locally, some exported, but also we want a lot of these monies to stay with our farmers,” he added.

The week of activities climaxed on Thursday with the hosting of a farm field school open day, hosted by the animal health and production division at a farm in Fountain.

This year’s World Food Day was celebrated under the theme: “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”. (AA)