Notes to broadcasters on World Food Day

    | October 11, 2010

    Download this story

    The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrates World Food Day each year on October 16, the day on which the organization was founded in 1945.

    According to FAO, the objectives of World Food Day are to:

    • encourage attention to agricultural food production and to stimulate national, bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental efforts to this end;
    • encourage economic and technical cooperation among developing countries;
    • encourage the participation of rural people, particularly women and the least privileged categories, in decisions and activities influencing their living conditions;
    • heighten public awareness of the problem of hunger in the world;
    • promote the transfer of technologies to the developing world; and
    • strengthen international and national solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty and draw attention to achievements in food and agricultural development.

    This year’s theme is United Against Hunger. The theme recognizes the efforts being made to fight world hunger. Events are planned worldwide, although as shown in our stories, events are usually aimed at raising awareness, rather than giving farmers or hungry people a platform to raise their concerns.

    FAO recently estimated the number of hungry people in the world at 925 million. Breaking figures down by continent, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest prevalence of hunger, with one in three people undernourished. FAO provides definitions of hunger, and describes how it is measured here:

    Further facts and figures, available by country, are available here:

    A policy brief, launched when the 2010 figure of 925 million was announced, can be downloaded here:

    The main World Food Day website, with lots of information, resources, links and downloads:

    Various events are planned at FAO headquarters in Rome during this week. On October 15, a number of people have been invited to speak, including the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and the head of the World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran. The events on October 15 will be webcast live:

    Broadcasters can check to see if the UN, NGOs or campaigning organizations are planning events to mark the day in their region, and produce a program around the event. This is a good opportunity to broadcast a program which highlights and values farmers, their place in rural communities and the essential services they provide. It is also a chance for farmers to network, link up with local organizations and policy-makers and bring their concerns to light. Maybe you could organize a round-table discussion that brings farmers and key organizations together to discuss hunger, improving agricultural production, and the difficulties farmers face. Or consider inviting a farmer to talk to a local politician or policy-maker on air.