Published on 16th October 2015
The theme for this year's World Food Day is Social Protection and Agriculture.
According to the United Nations, about one billion people in developing countries live in extreme poverty. Seventy-eight percent of them live in rural areas where agriculture is the main driving force of the economy.
World Food Day is today and this year's theme is around Social Protection and Agriculture. The theme was chosen to highlight the importance of providing access to food to vulnerable persons in rural areas.
Evidence shows that when poor rural households in developing countries are provided with social assistance, they feel more financially secure and are better able to manage risks and shocks and engage in more profitable livelihoods.
Volunteer Service Abroad have many volunteers working on agricultural and nutrition-based projects in Asia Pacific designed to break the cycle of rural poverty and provide more access to healthy food. Some of them are listed below:
Tennant Fenton worked as a volunteer in Timor-Leste where he helped a poor community in the west of the country generate US$18,000 from the sale of soybeans.
That sum might seem small by Western standards, but could prove more significant in the long run by aiding a small, struggling nation to feed its people and build a sustainable industry.
VSA volunteer Moniek Kindred spent two years volunteering with World Vision Papua New Guinea as a Food Security and Nutrition Adviser, based in Buka, Bougainville.
With her counterpart, project manager Cecilia (Cecy) Naguo, Moniek worked on a maternal and child health project, with food security and nutritional aspects. This involved both delivering workshops herself, and training her counterpart and team officers to run community workshops in infant and young child feeding; safe motherhood and nutrition, food demonstrations; complementary feeding; growth monitoring; and emergency nutrition.
During his time in Samoa, VSA volunteer Glenn Cant developed a highly successful agricultural scheme in rural Poutasi, Upolu island. The project involved growing and selling high-end salad vegetables to local restaurants and resorts, while teaching local women to grow produce in their own gardens.
Five full-time staff worked with Glenn in the outdoor garden and tunnel house in Poutasi Village, growing salad vegetables such as mesclun, rocket and fresh herbs which they delivered twice weekly to about 15 hotels, restaurants and cafes in Apia and several resorts on the south coast of Upolu.
Track the conversation about World Food Day 2015 on Twitter using the hashtag #WFD2015