20 Oct 2017 16:40pm
STAMPRIET, 20 OCT (NAMPA) - Efforts to improve food security and rural development should be seen as a collective responsibility and not that of Government alone, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa has said.
Speaking at the belated commemoration of World Food Day in the Stampriet village on Thursday, Mutorwa said more than 75 per cent of poor and food insecure people globally live in rural areas and are mostly dependent on agriculture.
Food and agriculture are central to peoples well-being, he said.
Mutorwa added that the majority of people migrate for a number of reasons, which include food insecurity, a lack of income generation opportunities and extreme weather events such as floods and drought which are linked to climate change.
The minister further said the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of achieving zero hunger by 2030 cannot be achieved without addressing issues such as migration, food security and rural development.
Mutorwa noted that investing in sustainable rural development is the key to addressing factors that compel people to migrate from rural areas to urban areas.
As a nation, we need to scale up support to small-scale farmers and intensify programmes which are geared towards rural development in order to enhance the living standards of our people, hence minimising rural-urban migration, he said.
Government has recognised challenges of food security in the country.
As part of the governments efforts to ensure an increase in agricultural production and food security in line with Vision 2030, the government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, has implemented irrigation projects in most parts of the country, most of them located in rural areas, Mutorwa said.
He urged Namibians to continue working together towards bringing development to rural communities and most importantly, towards attaining zero hunger and ensuring food security for all.
World Food Day is commemorated annually on 16 October with the purpose of reinforcing worldwide awareness on food security and agricultural sustainability; highlighting global food challenges; and strengthening solidarity in the struggle against hunger.
This years commemoration was held under the theme Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.
Stampriet is situated about 64 kilometres north-east of Mariental in the Hardap Region.