Media Release: World Food Day highlights the role of small-scale sectors in alleviating poverty and hunger

16 October 2014

Masifundise and Coastal Links South Africa will this week join people from across the globe to mark World Food Day. The focus for 2014 is Family Farming and the theme is “Feeding the world, caring for the earth”.

The UN General Assembly has designated 2014 “International Year of Family Farming.” This is a strong signal that the international community recognises the important contribution of family farmers to world food security. Family farmers are small-scale food producers as are artisanal & small-scale fishers.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) the theme has been chosen to raise the profile of family farming and small holder farmers. It focuses world attention on the significant role of family farming in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

On Saturday 18 October, Masifundise and Coastal Links members will join an event organised by the Woman on Farms Project  (WFP) Community House in Salt River. The event, which starts at 10am, is supported by Surplus People’s Project, Oxfam and the Slow Fish organisation. WFP wants to highlight the fact that one in four people in South Africa go hungry each day. The programme will include a march to parliament to highlight the blight of hunger and poverty.

Masifundise and Coastal Links support the efforts to eradicate hunger and poverty. In our area of operation, we will also mark World Food Day by rededicating ourselves to the ideal of sustainable livelihoods for small-scale fishers.

Two important instruments will greatly facilitate this process. They are the Small-scale fisheries (SSF) policy in South Africa and the International Guidelines on small-scale fisheries. Both have been adopted and require comprehensive implementation.

The SSF policy gives small-scale fishing communities legal recognition for the first time and paves the way for their empowerment and development. The International Guidelines have similar aims of empowerment and development as well as environmental sustainability.

In a world where inequality has become the biggest threat to our future, we need to redouble our efforts to ensure the equitable sharing of resources.

We will intensify our calls for an end to ocean grabbing – the privatisation of resources. We will work closely with the World Forum of Fisher Peoples and its more than 40 organisations worldwide, in pursuit of our objectives.

World Food Day was first held on 16 Oct 1981. FAO marks World Food Day each year on 16 October, the day on which the Organisation was founded in 1945.

World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO’s Member Countries at the Organisation’s 20th General Conference in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide. It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.

For more information on World Food day, refer to the Food and Agricultural Organisation website at

Issued by Masifundise Communication Unit

Contact Person : Mansoor Jaffer or Nosipho Singiswa

Tel : 021 6854549

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