World Food Safety Day is celebrated every 7th of June annually, and aims to draw the attention of stakeholders, producers, suppliers and consumers to assure food safety for all.
As a lead up campaign towards the day, the Department of Agriculture and Livestock in partnership with various government bodies and the United Nations WHO and FAO launched the annual World Food Week in Iarowari Agro Technical Secondary School earlier last week.
The aim of the launching was to educate on the importance of food security and make awareness of what the government and key stakeholders are doing to ensure food is safe and protected in the country.
Keynote speaker at the launching was deputy Secretary for department of Agriculture, David Kombuk. Mr Kombuk stressed the importance of PNG meeting the domestic needs of Food rather need relying on imports where he further talked about the present needs that food safety can address.
“PNG must meet domestic food needs and must not rely on imports.” He says. “Glancing into the future, the relevance of food safety has become more important and the scale of the country and the world will continually change in food productivity system and trade practices.” He said.
“The highlight of today’s celebration to address key questions like how can food standards, safety and trade contribute to freedom from poverty, malnutrition, hunger and violence.” He further adds.
Mr David further called for relevant stakeholder bodies to assist the government with bringing forward the food safety, standards and security in the country.
“I am requesting for FAO, WHO and CODEX must assist developing countries like PNG to meet Food security challenges and enforcement of new enabling policies and regulations on food standards.” He says. “Our government is committed since we already have an active legislations to promote policies and facilitate plans for food safety, security, and standard and trade institutions. “Said Mr Kombuk.
Also present at the ceremony was FAO Representative, Nigel Baro as he spoke about the UN sustainable development goals and how food security can best help to achieve the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
A representative from WHO, Miss Nola Eluh N’drewei, was also present at the launching where she gave remarks on the importance of health in regards to food safety.
“Food Safety, security and Nutrition are linked and you cannot achieve one without the other.” she says. “When food is safe, we are able to achieve nutritional goals and early childhood learning for our children.” Said Miss N’drewei.
Miss N’drewei further added that food borne diseases are emerging and that innovations in required to meet such challenges.
Also present at the launching was representatives from The PNG Department of Health, NAQIA and trukai industries. The team has visited Kwikila secondary school on Thursday the June 3rd and Kairuku District on Friday June 4th and will be campaigning in other various places in the Country and around Central Province. The objective is to raise further awareness of food safety and security and promote healthy eating in the country.
Feature Pic: Delegates being welcomed by students before the ceremony