On World Food Day, officials say food exports key to jobs and peace

22 Oct 2009

On World Food Day, officials say food exports key to jobs and peace

KABUL - Ten innovative farmers from across the country were felicitated by the Ministry of Agriculture on the occasion of World Food Day in Afghanistan.

Among them was Sher Padshah, a small farmer from Ghorband district of Parwan, who was recognized by the government, for the farming techniques he used that resulted in high wheat and grape yields this year.

"I'm happy that my hard work paid off," he told UNAMA in Dari. "This has been the best year so far for me," Mr Padshah added.

High yields like the one Padshah experienced fits into the grand plan for Mohammad Asif Rahimi, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Lifestock. Speaking at a joint Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) function, Mr Rahimi also emphasized on the importance of food security.

In order to achieve the goal of food security, he said "we must focus on irrigation, solve farmer credit issues, build better storage facilities, and strengthen research and technology."

The theme chosen for World Food Day by FAO this year is 'Achieving food security in times of crisis'. The FAO Acting Representative for Afghanistan, Tek B. Thapa, told government officials and journalists that "at a time when the fallout from the global economic crisis still dominates the news, it is important to remind the international community that the crisis is stalking the small-scale farms and rural areas of the world, where 70 per cent of the world's hungry live and work."

The World Food Programme (WFP), which has initiatives that feed the poor in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan, too reminded the international community about the need and urgency to help those who have inadequate access to food.

"Hunger and poverty are twin threats, and the people of Afghanistan need and deserve our very best joint efforts to fight them," said WFP Representative for Afghanistan, Stefano Porretti. "WFP is committed to helping Afghan's neediest people break the cycle of poverty and hunger, but we need the continued support of the international community," he added.

By Aditya Mehta, UNAMA


Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Lifestock
Food and Agriculture Organization

World Food Programme