The celebration of World Food Day last Monday, was a scene that afforded the audience a profound understanding of migration, investment in food security and rural development.
However, land acquisition, storage facilities, loans to farmers, farm to market roads and agricultural knowledge dissemination are challenges farmers are still faced with, but were not adequately addressed.
FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on October 16 to commemorate the founding of the organization, which was established in 1945. Events commemorating World Food Day are meant to promote worldwide awareness and action for those who go hungry, and to also ensure food security and nutritious diet for all.
The one day event was celebrated under the theme, Change the Future of Migration; Invest in Food Security and Rural Development” at the Ministry of Agriculture – Project Management Unit, in Careysburg Township with development partners including the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the Liberia Agribusiness Development Activity (LADA).
FAO and WFP spoke on the causes and effects of migration as they attributed poverty, food insecurity, income generating opportunities, inequality, limited access to social protection, the impact of climate change as other key drivers of migration despite conflict and political instability.
FAO Country Representative Marc T. Abdala cautioned that creating conditions to mitigate internal migration is crucial in tackling migration challenges.
“Large movement of people today is presenting complex challenges, which call for global action. Many migrants arrive in developing countries, creating tensions where resources are already scarce. But the majority, about 763 million, move within their own countries rather than abroad…creating conditions that allow rural people, especially youth and women, to stay at home when they feel it is safe to do so and have more resilient livelihoods is a crucial component of any way to tackle the migration challenge,” explained Abdala.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mrs. Seklau E. Wiles, did not clearly detail strategies on how Liberia’s agriculture sector would play its part in the fight against domestic migration, though she admitted that the country is no stranger to internal migration.
At the event, an exhibition of products showed the results of countless awareness activities sown in the country’s food sector over the years. It also demonstrated that the potential of the food sector is on a steady pace to realization as many Liberians are venturing into different types of agribusinesses, including a variety of crops from the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI), labor saving devises and products made from honey and cassava.