|A member of the awareness team explains the petition to school students at Waigani market|
Farmers, market vendors, workers and the general public made the call during celebrations marking World Food Day in Port Moresby recently.
This year’s theme was United against hunger and in the nation’s capital, staff from the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, National Capital District Commission, other government agencies, non-government organisations and farmer groups took to the streets to conduct awareness on food security and how government, private sector and the public can work together to fight hunger and poverty.
Ward councilors, for the first time, joined government officers and others to campaign for improved food security and more efforts to stop hunger.
The team, numbering over 100, convoyed in vehicles and also asked the public to sign a petition called the 1billion hungry project.
Many people in the city’s markets and suburbs responded to the awareness team by saying that the government needs to conduct regular awareness and educate the public on important issues concerning their welfare and livelihood.
They said that food security was an important issue because people in the urban centres faced hardships and they need more assistance on ways and means to survive and have access to food and cash income.
Gustave Ivarature, 31, who resides at Gerehu, said many people were struggling to find food to feed their families.
There was limited land available for backyard gardening and people were resorting to making gardens on the hillsides.
He was sorry to hear about millions of people starving from hunger in the world and wanted to know what the PNG government was doing about our own situation here.
He suggested that relevant government agencies should work closely to promote food security programmes and educate the people on ways to overcome hunger and poverty.
The WFD programme ended at Ela Beach where official speeches were made and the campaign team and supporters had refreshments.
DAL team leader and chief livestock officer Regina Nukundj thanked all the public servants, workers, company staff, farmers, ward councilors, school children and others who joined the campaign and visited the markets to talk about food and hunger.
Nukundj also thanked the government departments and agencies who provided assistance in cash and kind.
NCDC social services manager Kila Dick said WFD was important because it reminded the people on the importance of food and hunger and how communities should be responsible for overcoming hunger and growing more food.
He said hunger and poverty were having negative impact in the city as shown by the number of homeless and beggars on the streets.
The WFD campaign was one effective way of spreading the message about food and hunger and he urged all stakeholders to work together and find ways to alleviate hunger and poverty in the settlements, villages and communities.
Hohola ward councilor and North-West council president Max Manale praised DAL and NCDC for including ward councilors in the WFD program saying they had existing networks with their communities and should be utilised fully to spread important messages.
He said it was important that all stakeholders work together to create opportunities and make the city a safe and better place to live and work in.