In a bid to underscore the vital importance of water in our lives and its fundamental role in agriculture and food production, the minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza, alongside the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for agriculture and rural development, Super Zuma, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), came together to celebrate World Food Day under the theme, “Water is life. Water is food. Leave no one behind.”
The event, held on Thursday, 26 October 2023, aimed to shed light on the critical role of water as the foundation of life on earth and as a cornerstone of our food systems. The theme emphasised the essential link between water and food security, urging the global community to ensure that no one is left behind in the quest for sustenance and nutrition.
Strategies to counter rising food prices
One of the primary objectives of the event was to educate communities on strategies to mitigate the impact of rising food prices. The focus was on empowering communities through the establishment of food gardens and supporting agricultural cooperatives, thereby enhancing food security, fostering job creation, and promoting economic growth.
World Food Day also served as a platform to deepen public awareness of the challenges faced by the hungry and undernourished worldwide and encouraged communities to take decisive actions to combat hunger.
The day’s activities were marked by the visitation of dignitaries, including the minister, and senior officials to various projects and households.
Sowing seeds for a food-secure future
These visits were an integral part of the celebration and provided an opportunity for the leaders to witness first-hand the positive impact of initiatives promoting sustainable agriculture and food production. It also facilitated an interactive dialogue between the officials and local communities, encouraging the exchange of ideas and knowledge crucial for further development.
In a heartening gesture, the event also included the distribution of food parcels and agricultural support to indigent households in identified communities.
This act of kindness not only provided immediate relief to those in need but also underscored the government’s commitment to ensuring that vulnerable populations are supported and uplifted, especially in the face of economic challenges.
Speaking at the event, Didiza emphasised, “Water is indeed life, and it is the bedrock upon which our food security rests. By empowering communities to harness the potential of water through sustainable agricultural practices, we are not just providing food today but building a foundation for a food-secure future.”
Zuma echoed these sentiments, adding, “Our collective responsibility is to leave no one behind in our journey towards a hunger-free world. Through collaborative efforts and community engagement, we can create resilient food systems that withstand the test of time.”
The celebration of World Food Day in KwaZulu-Natal highlighted the importance of water in ensuring food security and served as a reminder of the collective responsibility we share in combating hunger. As communities continue to be empowered, and initiatives promoting sustainable agriculture gain momentum, the vision of a world free from hunger and malnutrition draws closer, one harvest at a time.
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