October 16 was World Food Day, sponsored by a host of government agencies and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about hunger and malnutrition around the world. According to a recent report jointly published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP), approximately 870 million people, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010 through 2012. The report notes that while the number of hungry people declined between 1990 and 2007, efforts to reduce hunger have slowed since 2007.
The theme for World Food Day 2012 is “Agriculture Cooperatives – Key to Feeding the World,” to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and farmers’ incomes. This year’s World Food Prize went to Dr. Daniel Hillel, known for his work to maximize efficient water use in agriculture, increase crop yields, and minimize environmental degradation.