• World Food Day is celebrated every year on October 16th to commemorate the date of the founding of the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945.
  • FAO is a specialised agency of the UN that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • In 2021, the UN Secretary-General also convened the very first Food SystemsSummit to discuss ways to transform the production and consumption of food.

Important points:

  • It is observed annually to address the problem of global hunger.
  • The day is also observed by organisations like World Food Programme (Was awarded nobel peace prize 2020) and International Fund for Agricultural Development.
  • It emphasises on the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) i.e. Zero Hunger.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined that an urgent change of route is needed.
  • It has made it even harder for farmers – already grappling with climate variability and extremes – to sell their harvests, while rising poverty is pushing an increased number of city residents to use food banks, and millions of people require emergency food aid.
  • World needs sustainable agri-food systems that are capable of nourishing 10 billion people by 2050.

FAO’s Contribution in India:

  • It has closely watched India’s fight against malnutrition in the past decades but its scope had many constraints.
  • Due to reasons such as pregnancy at a young age, lack of education and information, inadequate access to drinking water, lack of cleanliness, etc. India is lagging behind in achieving the expected results of “malnutrition free India” by 2022, envisaged under the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan).
  • FAO supported India’s proposal to declare 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
  • The move will encourage intake of nutritious food, increase their availability further and benefit small and medium farmers who mostly grow coarse grains on their land where there is a problem of water and the land is not so fertile.
  • FAO’s Hunger Index, India’s Opposition and Farmers Protest:
  • India has slipped to 101st position in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2021
  • However, the Indian government has questioned the poll-based assessment and methodology used by the FAO.


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