Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Recognizing the Role of Cooperatives on World Food Day

Photo: Jane Sebbi, left, is a farmer with 12 acres of land in Kamuli, Uganda. Small-scale farmers, and the cooperatives that support them, are the focus of World Food Day 2012.(Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)

Fisherman in the Moroccan village of Dikky, near the Gibraltar Strait, once struggled to make ends meet, due to the seasonal nature of their trade. After uniting as a cooperative, however, the fisherman were able to cut costs, by buying fuel and bait as a group, and receive government support in the form of equipment and instruction in honey production. As part of a special U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) project, the men were trained in beekeeping, a supplemental skill that sustained them during fishing's off-season.  

Cooperatives, like the one at Dikky, are the focus of World Food Day 2012, which is observed on October 16. Every year on this day, organizations and individuals around the world work to raise awareness of global hunger and strengthen the political will to eradicate it.  

The 2012 theme "Agricultural Cooperatives: Key to Feeding the World" highlights the role of cooperatives that support smallholder farmers in addressing world hunger. According to FAO figures, smallholder farmers will provide much of the extra food needed to feed more than nine billion people by 2050. 

Events taking place in recognition of World Food Day are happening across the country and around the world today, and include everything from action events, such as food packaging drives and World Food Day dinners, to opportunities to hang out with celebrity chefs as they cook and talk nutrition.

Even if you're not able to participate in any World Food Day activities in person, take a few minutes to watch the video below, and learn more about the fishing cooperative in Dikky, and similar collectives that are contributing to hunger and poverty reduction.


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