Dr. Gerry Jayawardane, Adviser and Research Policy Project Chairman of the Ministry of Agriculture addressed the gathering on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Duminda Dissananayke,
18 October 2016, Colombo:
World Food Day is commemorated every year on 16 October. The theme of this year’s World Food Day is that climate change, hunger and poverty must be addressed together in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) commemorated World Food Day in Colombo under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Climate change is dramatically affecting agriculture and food security. Climate change contributes to the severity of the natural disasters and environmental problems we experience today, damaging livelihoods and food production. These disastrous events are the end results of us taking short-cuts to produce what we need. We need to find a sustainable way of securing food without causing further damage to our environment.
There is growing international recognition that the agriculture sector play a transformative role in reversing the impacts of climate change. Actions to promote resilience in agriculture cut across the usual distinction between adaptation and mitigation in securing sustainable food security.
“The effects of climate change on food and nutrition security are a very serious concern for FAO, both in Sri Lanka and globally. Climate change is already affecting yields, threatening the availability and quality of food and potentially increasing food prices to the detriment of the poor. However, there are ways to adapt agriculture – crops, fisheries, aquaculture, livestock and forestry – to the new realities” said the FAO Representative in Sri Lanka, Ms. Nina Brandstrup at a seminar held on 18 October 2016 in Colombo.
“Concerted efforts that the Government and the people of Sri Lanka have been taking, together with other partners to address climate change challenges for sustainable food security will make a marked difference in the lives of women and children.” said Ms. Brenda Barton, Representative of WFP. “The set of Sustainable Development Goals which countries and communities around the world committed to earlier this year are attainable here in Sri Lanka. In particular Goal Number 2 ‘end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture’ would contribute to achieving Zero Hunger by 2030. On World Food Day, we have an opportunity to think about, and to take up the challenge on how we as individuals can make a concrete contribution to this very important and noble goal.”
The World Food Day 2016 slogan: ‘Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.’
The global population is expected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, humanity needs to produce more food, in ways that use less natural resources and that drastically reduce loss and waste of food.