Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
World Food Day (WFD) 2020 and FAO’s 75th Anniversary commemorated in Tonga on 16 October, 2020. This year, WFD events held at the Indoor Stadium at ‘Atele. Guest of Honour was the Hon. Prime Minister, Rev Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa.
The WFD theme this year calls to “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together”. The theme tagline “Our actions are our future” reinforce the call for action to overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic through enhancing productivity and upgrading and diversifying production value chains.
The WFD2020 theme and activities recognize the increased agricultural activities at community level by every districts of Tongatapu. Similar agricultural activities occur in the outer islands, Vava’u, Ha’apai, ‘Eua and the Niuas. Program of the WFD include pre-judge competitions that focus on self-sufficient activities at the seven districts of Tongatapu. This include household vegetable gardening, fruit tree planting, home-base poultry and layers. Other pre-judge competition involves food businesses operations and Food Safety inspections. The rest of the competition was on the WFD exhibitions and displays. This engaged private sector food-related businesses and retailers, farmers, schools, exporters that involve in making sustainable food available and affordable.
The theme emphasizes on the need to make sure that our food systems grow a variety of food to nourish growing population and sustain the world we are living, together. The theme re-emphasizes the importance for Tonga to make food choices that improve both our health and that of our food systems. The current engagement of private sectors, community groups, households and schools in vegetable gardening, poultry raising, fruit tree planting support healthy eating in order to reduce alarming rate of non-communicable diseases in Tonga.
The WFD exhibition featuring stakeholder, community groups, exporters, food vendors and food-related partnerships clearly indicated the status of food systems in Tonga. Most exhibitions by community groups, food businesses, exporters and food vendors. Both agriculture and fisheries exhibitions confirm the two main source to providing variety of food for sustainable and healthy Tonga.
Special performance by the Government Primary School of ‘Atele was the climax of the WFD. Songs and poems composed for the WFD theme and costume parade on various food types assured that the WFD is reaching out to young generation.
The commemoration of WFD each year calls for action. Despite the unprecedented circumstances of the WFD2020, Tonga can still take advantage of this important opportunity to featuring food and agricultural sector.