FSM World Food Day Planning Committee Meets

Press Release #0809-15
Palikir, Pohnpei – FSM Information Services
August 11, 2009

Today was the first meeting of the FSM World Food Day Planning Committee at the National Government Complex in Palikir.  This committee brought together people from the FSM Departments of Resources and Development, Health and Social Affairs, and Education, together with representatives of Pohnpei State Agriculture, Yap’s Interagency Nutrition and Education Council, and members of the Pohnpei and Kosrae chapters of the Island Food Community.

In response to several events, including the soaring cost of fuel last year and the high tides back in December of 2008, President Mori has created a committee to focus on celebrating World Food Day as the main FSM event to highlight food security issues.  World Food Day is an international celebration organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  This year, World Food Day will be held on October 16, 2009 with the theme of “Achieving food security in times of crisis”.
The focus of World Food Day, as described by the FAO is to:

  • Improve agricultural productivity and enhance livelihoods and food security in rural communities;
  • Develop and conserve natural resources
  • Expand and improve rural infrastructure and broaden market access
  • Strengthen capacity for knowledge generation and dissemination;
  • Ensure access to food for the most needy through safety nets and other direct assistance.

However, this is not the first year that FSM will be participating in celebrating World Food Day. Ms. Jane Elymore from the FSM Department of Health and Social Affairs said that it goes back to the 1980’s.  In fact, Pohnpei State has actively been celebrating it for 5 years, and other states in the FSM have seen celebrations including Chuuk State when a few years ago the COM-Land Grant sponsored the event.  Although each state has some local celebration of food security, this will be the first year that each state will try and focus the event on the same day.

The committee gathered today to define what this celebration would look like.  The group discussed what has been previously done and talked about the events that would be necessary this year to celebrate the theme of “Achieving food security in times of crisis”.  They identified that FSM is experiencing different types of crisis, including ones directed at health, economics, and the environment, and decided that this year’s celebration should be directed at all of these issues.

Due to the comprehensive nature of the theme and the fact that each participant represented a particular group with a specific focus, the group decided to compile individual reports on activities that they could help coordinate in each FSM state, so that the event would be consistent in each State.  The FSM Public Information Office, who sponsored the meeting, is the central point for collecting this information, compiling it, and moving the project forward for the next meeting.  It was obvious that various stakeholders were not present at the meeting and therefore, anyone wishing to submit proposals or ideas for this year’s celebration of World Food Day should contact the Public Information Office at (691) 320-2548 or by email at fsmpio@mail.fm.