People Must Have Something To Eat

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the first time in history, more than one billion people are undernourished worldwide, which is about 100 million more than last year. This means that one in every six persons suffers from hunger every day.

Obviously, this is not good at all. One does not only need to have something in the stomach, but the diet must be balanced. We must eat well before we can be productive.

The million-dollar question that comes into mind is who is responsible for this pinching situation?

People eat to live… And as Franklin Benjamin said, “To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”

What is certain is that when there is hunger, there will always be violence, as people would be tempted to resort to it.

According to the FAO Director General, “the recent increased in hunger has not been the consequences of a poor global harvest but the world economic crisis, which reduces incomes and employment opportunities of the poor and significantly reduces their access to food”.

We ask, what is responsible for this grave and thoughtful state?

We are also of the same opinion that it is vital, particularly in times of crisis, to give support to the agriculture sector, because only a healthy agricultural sector, combined with a growing non-farm economy and effective safety nets and social protection programmes will be sufficient to face the global recession, as well as eradicate food insecurity and poverty.

Here in The Gambia, we must try to grow our own food rather than depend on imported food to reduce hunger in the country. The saying “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

We therefore encourage all and sundry to heed to the President’s back-to-the-land call, irrespective of our political inclinations.

To eradicate hunger is a daunting challenge, but if proper mechanisms are put in place, coupled with our collective commitments and determination , slowly but surely it will be attained.

“Fear has many eyes and can see things which are underground”.

Miguel de Cervantes