This year’s theme – “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life”.

18 October 2021, Dushanbe – Today, in the observance of the World Food Day, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the Industrial Food Service Institute of the Russian Federation, the State Enterprise “Republican Nutrition Center” and other partners launched an event series to highlight the importance of individual actions in achieving a world free of hunger and malnutrition in all its forms.

This year’s theme – “Our actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life” – underscores the urgent need to step up collective efforts to reach the Zero Hunger goal. This is a call for national and global solidarity to grow local, seasonal, nutritious foods in a sustainable manner to make food systems more resilient so that they can withstand the shocks from climate change and supply chain disruptions.

In these regards, planned events intend to raise awareness of the need for supporting the transformation to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. The events will feature television and radio programmes, quizzes and open talk with students and schoolchildren, interactive games and master classes around the World Food Day theme.

“We celebrate World Food Day every year to appreciate the food we eat, but also to address issues related to hunger and malnutrition. Transforming food systems means eliminating wasteful patterns of food consumption, improving production and saving resources and environment, providing healthy and nutritious food for all. To achieve this transformation, we need to change policies, mindsets, behaviors and business models. It will depend on building consumer demand for sustainably produced and nutritious food, enhancing responsible business conduct in agriculture, strengthening local value chains, and improving nutrition,” emphasized Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan.

“This year we also celebrate 25th anniversary of FAO working in Tajikistan”, he added. “FAO and the people of Tajikistan went together through the difficult times of recovery of agricultural sector after the civil war, building of key subsectors, such as veterinary, livestock and seeds production, supporting agricultural reforms to build new agricultural sector. With the new FAO strategic settings, which include better production, better nutrition, better environment and better life, we are looking forward to move forward with the government and the people of Tajikistan towards better food security and prosperity of rural population in the country.”

“On World Food Day, WFP calls for urgent action to timely respond to potential climate crisis. WFP closely works with the government of Tajikistan to help mountain communities to cope with the impact of climate change on their incomes and food security. We are helping communities to diversify the crops they grow, specifically through the introduction of tree planting and agroforestry, thereby reducing the risk of losing income to extreme weather events. Tree planting has the added benefit of stabilizing slopes during heavy rain and preventing mudflows and landslides. Other adaptation measures such as improved water systems, greenhouses, post-harvest crop storage, and renewable energy systems are also introduced,” says Adham Musallam, WFP Representative in Tajikistan.

“For more than eight years, the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute, in partnership with the UN World Food Program, has been working to develop a sustainable school feeding program in Tajikistan, one of the main components of the food systems transformation chain. Over the years, we have been able to develop different models of school feeding. School farms, local bakeries that deliver freshly baked bread to school canteens, and educational activities to develop sustainable eating habits for children and their parents – our joint efforts help not only make nutrition more affordable and sustainable for younger students, but also create an early interest in healthy eating habits and sensible consumption to raise a generation that is responsible for the planet and its resources,” said Vladimir Chernigov, president of the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute.

World Food Day is one of the most celebrated days in the UN calendar. This occasion is known to trigger collective action across 150 nations bringing together governments, businesses, civil society organizations, youth and children, media and the members of the public.

Amidst the global health crisis of COVID-19, the events are an opportunity to reflect on this year’s theme while working together to address issues related to food, nutrition, agriculture and overall health and well-being of the nations.

Better policies and legislation, investment and good governance can build nature-friendly, sustainable agri-food systems that are more inclusive and resilient. Governments and institutions can make healthy diets a reality for all through a strategic, integrated and inclusive approach across sectors. Innovation, indigenous knowledge, women and youth all have a role to play in achieving a greener, fairer and better world for all.