WINDHOEK, 16 OCT (NAMPA) -
Windhoek Mayor Muesse Kazapua on Friday called on supermarkets to subsidise consumable products for pensioners.
Commemorating United Nations (UN) World Food Day at the informal sports field at the corner of Monte Cristo and Otjomuise roads in the capital, Kazapua said: "You can come up with modalities to subsidise pensioners on daily food so that they can be able to afford these products since they are pensioners and not like you and me who get a salary at the end of the day".
The mayor made the call in light of the country's efforts to establish a functional food security system such as a food bank. "This event will be an annual calendar event as we move forward in our quest to secure adequate food provisions for our people," he said.
The day was commemorated for the first time by the City of Windhoek on 16 October 2014 and was held in Otjomuise. This year's event was commemorated under the theme 'Social Protection and Agriculture' which aims to underline the role social protection plays in reducing chronic food insecurity and poverty by ensuring direct access to food or the means to buy food.
Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Zephania Kameeta said in a speech read on his behalf that increased agricultural production is key to ensure food security, although a lack of proper upliftment mechanisms for the rural poor such as cash transfers and other appropriate social safety nets could undermine the significant role of agriculture in the fight against poverty and hunger.
"We need to contextualise the importance of social assistance in fighting hunger and poverty," said Kameeta. The minister cited the Chinese proverb 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime', saying this is not known in the Namibian context and most developing countries, because the poor do not have the fishing rod and they are in need of empowerment in order for them to break free from the shackles of abject poverty.
The commemoration was attended by members of the public, especially pensioners. World Food Day is celebrated on 16 October to honour the realisation of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN in 1945.
The FAO was established to fight global hunger and assist countries in developing sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices to ensure food security and nutrition for all. (NAMPA) PM/LI/ND