Bangladesh Church’s World Food Day 2012 celebrations highlight role of co-operatives

20 October 2012

A World Food Day discussion meeting has been organised in Bangladesh by Florence Sarkar,  Project Manager for the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme (CBSDP). Ms Sarkar attended the Economic Empowerment Workshop held in Nairobi last month, where she promised to campaign and  raise awareness about food security, partly through observing World Food Day.

The discussion session was attended by CBSDP credit group members, social activist, teachers, college students, development practitioners, sisters of CSS and local priests. Altogether 63 people attended the session. The discussion focused on the national and global food crisis, its reasons and possible remedies. 

The food crisis was marked as a big challenge and participants concluded that food poverty needs to be addressed by ensuring the availability of enough food for the poor. Fair distribution of food and the increasing people’s purchasing ability are prime concerns.  The inclusion of poor and marginalised people in food improvement programmes is also a must and should be treated as a right.

The participants stressed the need for building cooperatives of small agriculture producers in production and marketing their products. The participants indentified future activities for promoting sustainable food production to meet the food crisis. These were:

  • Cultivating more homestead vegetables
  • Ensuring maximum use of land for production
  • Including fallow land in cultivation
  • Using improved variety of seeds
  • Promoting organic farming
  • Sharing improved seeds and technology among themselves
  • Using Integrating Pest Management (IPM) for sustainable framing
  • Raising seed and food stock

The credit group members promised to take the message from the discussion to their group members, around 880 households, and initiate organised efforts to accomplish the activities in their localities.

The discussion concluded with a reflection on “The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing (psalm 65:13), and with the desire and promise to build the universe like that and sought blessing from God for that.