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World Food Day 2016 OPINION

World Food Day 2016

By: MOHAMMAD Zubair

Executive Director: IIHO Japan

 

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945.

Since 1981, World Food Day has adopted a different theme each year in order to highlight areas needed for action and provide a common focus.

This year, the theme of World Food Day is "Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too". Many people call Word Food Day a day of action against hunger. 

According to Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations, one of the biggest issues related to climate change is food security. The world’s poorest - many of whom are farmers, fishers and pastoralists - are being hit hardest by higher temperatures and an increasing frequency in weather-related disasters.

At the same time, the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. To meet such a heavy demand, agriculture and food systems will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and become more resilient, productive and sustainable. This is the only way that we can ensure the wellbeing of ecosystems and rural populations and reduce emissions.

Growing food in a sustainable way means adopting practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and use natural resources wisely. It also means reducing food losses before the final product or retail stage through a number of initiatives including better harvesting, storage, packing, transport, infrastructure, market mechanisms, as well as institutional and legal frameworks.

On the occasion of World Food Day, we must emphasize on the issue of Food safety. As the world population is growing, urban areas are becoming heavily populated and food production is involving increased cross border ingredients, food security is now essential subject of food production and health care. 

At the same time, trends of consumers such as Halal and rapidly growing Halal food industry is demanding other aspects of food security such as clear mention of ingredients and production process on the products label. Global food industry cannot ignore voices of Halal food consumers and consumers of vegetarian and vegan products. It should not be avoided that the Halal foods of Halal beverages is not just a requirement of the people of a certain faith but it is a life style of 1.6 billion people. They are the Muslim consumers not just looking for Halal foods but healthy and pure Halal foods that are hygienically good and safe to consume.

To eliminate hunger from the world, reducing food waste is essential. Without focusing on education to control food waste, it would be impossible to control food shortage in many part of our planet. Individually we have to consider our daily food consume whether we are creating food waste. Individual and collective efforts should be observed to eliminate hunger and to strengthen humanity.

World Food Day is a reminder to take care about environment, agriculture, people who are suffering or may suffer due to climate change, food security and consumer rights. Halal Certifying bodies and Halal product`s producers must commit themselves to promote and support prophetic Halal which means Hygienically safe, Healthy foods and beverages.