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Barbadians will join millions across the globe in observing World Food Day on Sunday, October 16, with the theme for this year’s celebrations Food Prices: From Crisis to Stability.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, "Price swings, upswings in particular, represent a major threat to food security in developing countries. Hardest-hit are the poor." The FAO also noted that the World Bank reported that in 2010-2011 rising food costs pushed nearly 70 million people into extreme poverty."

"… This year’s World Food Day theme has been chosen to shed some light on this trend and what can be done to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable. On World Food Day 2011, FAO has urged us to "look seriously at what causes swings in food prices, and do what needs to be done to reduce their impact on the weakest members of global society."

In Barbados, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management has planned a week of activities to celebrate World Food Day and bring focus to the plight of rising food prices.

Activities will commence with a 5-kilometre Health Walk next Saturday, October 15. It starts at the Bay Street Esplanade, and travels along Bush Hill, Dalkeith Road, Brittons Hill, Culloden Road, Belleville, Belmont Road, Martindale’s Road, Jemmotts Lane and finishes at Bay Street.

Barbadians are invited to take part in the walk which starts at 6:00 a.m. The aim is to bring awareness to the effects of rising food costs on vulnerable groups in the society.

The following day, Sunday, October 16, World Food Day, a service of thanksgiving will be held at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, at 9:30 a.m.

The World Food Day Committee will take part in a half-day tour on Monday, October 17, starting at 9:00 a.m. The delegation will visit the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre in Vaucluse, St. Thomas; a farm in St. Lucy and the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation’s Land Lease Project at Spring Hall, St. Lucy.

The Ministry has also planned a community outreach programme for Wednesday, October 19, with a Gardening Exhibition/Plant Clinic at Emerald Park West in St. Philip. ??During the exhibition, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., residents and interested persons can learn about gardening techniques in small spaces and a variety of related topics.

It is hoped that through such an outreach more Barbadians will be encouraged to "try their hand" at gardening and reduce spending while producing nutritious, home-grown crops.

Efforts to educate the youth will also be part of the week of activities, in the form of schools’ competition. Students from the parish of Christ Church are invited to use the theme of this year’s celebrations Food Prices: From Crisis to Stability to develop a creative piece, culinary work or artwork.????

Judging for the competition will take place on Thursday, October 20, and the winners will be announced accordingly.

The celebrations will come to a close with the World Food Day Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 28. The event, which will honour persons who have made significant contributions to the local agricultural sector, will take place in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Conference Room, at Graeme Hall, Christ Church, starting at 10:00 a.m.

Further details on celebrations for World Food Day may be obtained by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management at 434-5000.


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