MOA, Partners Tackle Climate Change, School Feeding Program

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The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) are working together to design strategies to tackle climate change, which is affecting food productivity in the agriculture sector.

During a press conference at the MOA in observance of World Food Day on Monday, Acting Agriculture Minister Charles McClain warned that climate change is affecting food security in the country.

“Many of our farmers, fishermen and pastoralists are hardest hit by higher temperatures and increasing frequency in weather-related disasters, and therefore we should work together in addressing the issue, with the assistance of our partners,” he said.

Liberia joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Food Day on Monday under the theme: “Climate is Changing, Food and Agriculture Must, Too.”

Acting Minister McClain indicated that the global population is growing steadily and is expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, and to meet the needs of the increasing population, agriculture and the food system will need to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.

“This is the only way that we can ensure the wellbeing of the ecosystem and rural populations and reduce emissions,” he stressed.

Dr. McClain noted that growing food in a sustainable way means implementing practices that produce more with less in the same area of land and use natural resources wisely.

The Deputy Country Director of the World Food Program (WFP), Julie McDonald, said the WFP has made extra gains in feeding school children of Liberia.

According to her, the U.N. organization has provided daily nutritious meals for a total of 127,000 school children in several schools in nine counties, which has improved and encouraged attendance of more school going kids in the country.

“WFP is also providing take-home rations such as rice and vegetable oil for over 4,000 adolescent female students in upper grades in places where gender disparities are high,” she disclosed.

According to McDonald the WFP and the Ministry of Education (MoE) are currently transitioning the daily school meals program to the home-grown school feeding program that will be more sustainable and adaptable to Liberia.

McDonald said the home-grown school meals initiative is aimed at linking local schools to smallholder farmers who will produce food that will be purchased and then used to provide meals for schools.

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