World Food Day may be more critical today

When you are in the journalism business it's an unusual day when there are not a few email in the computer inbox pertaining to the sector.

The releases can range from a machinery company coming up with an air seeder 20-feet wider than the previous year's model, to something about an insect problem in a vegetable crop in Ontario.

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It's part of the business to glean through the pile and toss away the chaff.

It's not to say a wide air seeder is not of interest to readers, but that is something a company should be buying an advertisement to promote.

A bug in Ontario is of interest there, but less so to readers here.

Then along comes a release from the National Farmers Union on World Food Day, and you suddenly are surprised there are not a dozen organizations using the opportunity to voice the importance of the message behind the day.

World Food Day (WFD) was founded by the United Nations' (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945, and has been observed annually, every October 16, since 1981. The event was established to increase awareness of world hunger and poverty and to inspire solutions for world change.

The message about hunger and poverty and how to solve the problems are certainly worthwhile goals.

And the seriousness of the situation and the challenges in effecting change are obvious when one considers the day was found 60-years ago, with the day observed since 1981, and yet hunger and poverty persist.

The NFU release suggested "farmers understand the relationship between food and hunger uniquely and very well as the primary producers of food products."

I would suggest while farmers grow food, they have no better understanding of the reasons for hunger than anyone else.

World hunger is not generally a food production problem.

Farmers around the world can still produce what we need.

The issues are economic ones.

The question is how we raise the economic situation of the world's poor, from those in Third World countries with meager national economies, to street people in Los Angeles and Toronto, to the point they can afford to buy the food they need.

And if that massive issue could ever be conquered, the focus would need to turn to how to deal with the politics of world trade, and the infrastructure of trade movement to ensure food could get to everyone in need.

As it stands, getting a bag of flour from Canada to a remote African village is an issue because of transportation and unstable or bickering governments all along the way.

The issues are massive, and may actually be worse today than in 1945 when World Food Day was initiated based on an ever growing world population.

That means the message of WFD is even more critical today, and is one the world community should be focusing the utmost attention on in dealing with.

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