Guyana collects hunger fight award

Guyana yesterday collected a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) award in Rome, Italy for cutting hunger and Prime Minister Sam Hinds lauded the role that women have played in this process.

In his remarks released by the Government Information Agency, Hinds said that in accepting the award Guyana recognized that food security was not a single issue.

“It is an interdependent and interconnected set of issues involving agriculture, energy, the environment, government policy and for developing countries like Guyana, our overall growth and development”, Hinds told the gathering at which 17 other countries were also recognised.

The Prime Minister heralded the role of women in ensuring food security and nutrition.  “Of course, the women who are among our farming communities will immediately come to mind.    Praise for their production and marketing of farm produce is well known, greatly admired and deserving of outstanding recognition.  The women farmers of Guyana who produce vegetables, herbs and spices, root crops, whether on small plots, in kitchen gardens or as workers on estates are well known to be hard-working and very skilled. “But I wish to give attention to the great task performed mostly by women – our mothers and grandmothers, wives and sisters, aunts and various relatives who provide the management of our households to ensure that healthy and nutritious diets are provided to thousands of families, rural and urban, in our country”, the Prime Minister said.

Hinds told the ceremony that the  Government of Guyana will continue to invest in agriculture, broadening safety nets and social aid programmes. He also adverted to enhancing income-generating activities for the rural and urban poor to improve the food situation.

The award recognised the attaining of the targets set by both the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Number 1 and the goal set by the 1996 World Food Summit for halving the absolute number of hungry people by 2015.

The award was presented to  Hinds by the Director-General of the FAO, Dr Jose Graziano da Silva. The Government Information Agency said that he stated that based on FAO estimates, Guyana  achieved by year-end of 2012, three years in advance, the target set by the 1996 World Food Summit.

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