WINDHOEK: Namibia will on Tuesday commemorate World Food Day with the rest of the globe amidst concerns that thousands of its citizens go hungry every day.
Assistant United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Representative Uparura Kuvare on Monday told Nampa that Government felt it wise to raise awareness of the role co-operatives can play in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of poverty.
Under the theme ‘Agricutlural Co-operatives: Key to Feeding the World’, the main event is slated to take place in the Omaheke Region’s Ondera-Ombapa area on Thursday.
The event is being hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in collaboration with the Pamwe Co-operative from the Aminius area.
According to a study issued by the FAO with regards to the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives ahead of the commemoration, one of the necessary steps to achieving food security is to support and invest in cooperatives, producer organisations and other rural institutions.
“Numerous success stories around the world have shown that rural institutions like producer organisations and co-operatives contribute to food security by helping small farmers, fisher folk, livestock keepers, forest holders and other producers to access the information, tools and services they need. This allows them to increase food production, market their goods and create jobs, improving their own livelihoods and increasing food security in the world,” it noted.
Accumulated research and experience showed that while small farmers acting alone did not benefit from higher food prices, those acting collectively in strong producer organisations and co-operatives were better able to take advantage of market opportunities and mitigate the negative effects of food and other crises.
The study recommended that governments and policy makers put in place the right policies, transparent legislation, incentives and opportunities for dialogue, because all of these are necessary conditions for co-operatives and producer organisations to develop and grow.