AUS - World Food Day was observed earlier this week at Aus, with a call by the agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb to redress income inequalities in order to eliminate poverty and ensure that all people have access to adequate and quality food.
His speech was delivered on his behalf by the special advisor to the //Kharas governor Stephanus Dax.
“This year’s World Food Day celebration puts emphasis on healthy diets and calls for action across all sectors of the economy to make healthy, quality and nutritious food accessible and available to everyone,” !Naruseb said.
“The combination of unhealthy diets and inactive lifestyles has sent obesity rates soaring, not only in developed countries, but also in low-income countries like Namibia.”
He also said this year’s World Food Day was being observed at a time when the SADC region was hard hit by two serious climate -related calamities.
“The 2018/2019 rainfall season has concomitantly presented climate-related disasters in the form of drought on the one hand and floods caused by cyclones.”
Referring to the country’s Zero Hunger Road Map as a means of achieving food and nutrition security, !Naruseb outlined its five pillars, which amongst others includes, 100 percent access to adequate food all year around and zero stunted children below the age of two.
The road map also seeks to promote sustainability of all food systems and zero loss or wastage of food.
The minister continued by urging farmers to “consider a reorientation of agricultural priorities and move from an emphasis on producing only high yielding crops toward producing a diversity of nutritious foods in sufficient quantities.”
According to the Crop Prospects Food Security and Drought Situation Report of July 2019, Namibia was only able to produce about 25 percent of its stable cereals such as maize, wheat, pearl millet and sorghum requirements as opposed to 60 percent under normal circumstances.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations 2019 report reveals that in recent decades, people around the globe have dramatically changed their diets and eating patterns as a result of globalisation, urbanisation and an increase in income growth, which at the end will have negative effects on human body systems.