The 43rd World Food Day was celebrated in Sudurpashchim with the theme “Water is life, Water is Food. Leave No One Behind.” In conjunction with Agriculture Knowledge Center (AKC) of Kailali and Kanchanpur districts; Agribusiness Promotion Support and Training Center (ABPSTC), Local Initiative for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and stakeholders such as YAC Nepal, KISHAN-II, FIAN Nepal, World Vision International, FAYA Nepal, private seed companies, SAPROS Nepal and Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Udhyog Banijya Sangh), joined hands to organize the day celebration on 12th and 16th October in Dhangadhi, Kailali and Sundarpur, Kanchanpur respectively.
In both of the events, LI-BIRD set up a publication booth featuring its knowledge products (brochures, flyers, posters, books and booklets). In addition, we had community seed banks from Joshipur, Kailari and Laljhadi showcasing local crop diversity and farmer’s groups exhibiting Tharu local food recipes. Several seed companies, small business such as pickles, spices, honey, and dairy products also had their stalls. The event was attended by more than 300 people, including the minister from MoLMAC, Dhangadhi, and Chairperson of Alliance on Agriculture for Food (AAF), officials from the Department of Agriculture, livestock, Irrigation, Education, Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC), and representatives from different NGOs, INGOs, small business, etc. The stalls for the Community Seed Bank and local food were the key attractions for fair attendees. Importantly, sharing information and showcasing seed and local food diversity to the school mid-day meal Program Coordinator and secondary school students was a noteworthy accomplishment.
The program was comprehensive, with different departments sharing their work in food security, food safety, sustainable water management in agriculture and various relevant policies. On the 12th October, LI-BIRD was given the opportunity to share good practices of efficient water management technologies. Where LI-BIRD advocated the local crops as a one-stop solution in the wake of climate change, drought conditions and food & nutrition security and also put the spotlight on the good practices implemented by LI-BIRD in sustainable water management, particularly at the household and community level aligning with this year theme. Furthermore, LI-BIRD highlighted the hybrid irrigation (Solar and Electric) method promoted by ‘Livelihood and Resilience Enhancement Project (LREP)’ and presented a success case from Joshipur, Kailali managed by a community for year-round vegetable and spring rice cultivation. Moreover, the AKC, Kailali acknowledged and honored five farmers across five different categories and Maya Devi Chaudhary, a beneficiary of LREP was one of the recipients, which was a moment of delight.
In concluding remarks, chief guest honorable minister admired efforts of community seed banks on conservation and promotion of local crops. He highlighted importance of local food and crops as a backbone of our food security. Both the AKC’s Chiefs applauded LI-BIRD for the contribution to the conservation of local crops as well as performing key role to organize the events. The events conveyed the message of sustainable use of water resources linking with food production system while also demonstrating a good example of collaboration and coordination amongst local-level stakeholders.
Glimpses of the event (click to enlarge)