Rural communities to observe ‘world food day’


HYDERABAD: Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) welcomes peasants, fishermen and all rural communities to ‘Week of Action’ in Sindh province, commencing on October 8 and ending on October 16 to celebrate the World Food Day.

The World Food Day is being celebrated globally on October 16, 2015 with the theme ‘Social Protection and Agriculture.’ United Nation (UN) Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called for ‘Social Protection in Agriculture to Break the Cycle of Poverty.’

PFF decided this week-long activities at a meeting held in Hyderabad– the PFF’s Indus Region Secretariat– on Tuesday, where the community activists, hailing from Sanghar, Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Umerkot and Badin, shared their plans at district level to make the week-long action successful. The meeting was presided by PFF chairperson Mohammad Ali Shah, while Maria Soomro, Sajan Mallah and Omar Mallah from Badin, Mir Hassan Mari and Ramzan Mallah from Sanghar, Majeed Thahim and Juman Mallag from Jamshoro and Hyderabad participated in the meeting.

PFF is making a history to respond to all the global events and design week-long activities, involving rural and urban communities to come together to give a joint message to the global communities.

PFF realizing the universal demand ensuring ‘Right to Food’, acknowledged it globally as the core of fundamental human rights to life for every citizen, enshrined in the UN Conventions on Economic, Social, Cultural, Civil & Political Rights.

The Week of Action begins in Karachi with a colourful event, followed by simultaneous activities across Sindh, mainly in Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Sanghar, Umerkot, Jamshoro and Hyderabad. Fishermen, farmers and rural workforce, including women will take part in rallies, short marches, food melas to express solidarity to the global communities, stressing the demands to the Sindh provincial government to ensure right to food to each citizen, disregard of their religion, class, creed and political affiliation.

PFF, which is working with fishermen and farmers has appealed to the communities to design their own activities to be a part of the global action and force demands to the government to ensure food. The community activists shared to the meeting that how the natural water bodies, lakes, wetlands, green pastures and fertile lands are being degraded because of unavailability of policies and sustainable practices to save food resources.

Mohammad Ali Shah said: “Poverty must be and can be eradicated now, with sweeping agrarian reforms that emphasise agro-ecology practised in cooperative farming. The best protection for life is securing livelihoods guaranteed by autonomous access to natural resources.”

All states and FAO need to be reminded of their own ‘guidelines for responsible governance of tenure in land, fisheries and forests, he said.

The PFF Chairperson said the ‘week of action will be an occasion for demanding food sovereignty for peoples as global acknowledgement of obligation to fulfil and sustain the right to food. States need to be taken care for ensuring food protection to the people, who mostly produce food but facing hunger and diseases.

During this week-long activities a signature campaign is being launched with a petition, which be filed with higher courts with demands of hundreds of thousands people.

PFF being a member of various international networks, representing food rights, water, human rights, advocating land reforms, agro-ecology, restoring forests and natural flow of the rivers.