World Food Day 2020 | UPSC

World Food Day 2020 | UPSC


World Food Day 2020 : Dr Harsh Vardhan chairs event on ‘World Food Day’ organized by FSSAI

      WHY IN NEWS:

“India on the road to be trans-fat free by 2022, in line with Prime Minister’s vision of New India”

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Food Security : UN Observance


For PRELIMS it is important to understand the significance of the theme and the aim of this event.

For MAINS take a note on Food security , digitisation and agriculture , Covid-19 and food system .


These uncertain times have made many of us rekindle our appreciation for a thing that some take for granted and many go without: food.?


  • The COVID-19 global health crisis has been a time to reflect on things we truly cherish and our most basic needs.
  • Food is the essence of life and the bedrock of our cultures and communities.

Preserving access to safe and nutritious food is and will continue to be an essential part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Poor and vulnerable communities are hit hardest by the pandemic and resulting economic shocks.

It is more important than ever to recognise the need to support our food heroesfarmers and workers throughout the food system .

  • Food heroes are making sure that food makes its way from farm to fork even amid disruptions as unprecedented as the current COVID-19 crisis.


  • In recent decades the world has made significant progress in improving agricultural productivity.

As countries begin to implement COVID-19 recovery plans, it is an opportunity for innovative solutions .

  • These should be based on scientific evidence so they can build back better and improve food systems.
  • Although we now produce more than enough food to feed everyone, our food systems are out of balance.


  • Hunger
  • Obesity
  • Environmental degradation
  • Loss of agro-biological diversity
  • Food loss and wastage
  • Lack of security for food chain workers .


  • World Food Day calls for global solidarity to help all populations, and especially the most vulnerable.
  • To recover from the crisis, and to make food systems more resilient and robust so they can withstand increasing volatility and climate shocks.

Objective is to deliver affordable and sustainable healthy diets for all, and decent livelihoods for food system workers.

  • This will require improved social protection schemes and new opportunities offered through digitalization and e-commerce.
  • Also more sustainable agricultural practices that preserve the Earth’s natural resources, our health, and the climate.


  • United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) marked October 16 of every year as World Food Day in the year 1979.
  • World Food Day 2020 also marks the 75th anniversary of FAO.

Initially, World Food Day was launched to commemorate the establishment of FAO.

  • Gradually, the day turned into a global event, creating awareness about food shortage and reviving food systems across the globe.

THEME 2020

  • Every year, World Food Day endeavours to promote food and preserve food resources.

In light of the current pandemic this year, the day will be celebrated with the theme – “Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future.”


  • Countries need to make sure that our food systems grow a variety of food to nourish a growing population and sustain the planet, together.
  • We all have a role to play, from increasing the overall demand for nutritious food by choosing healthy.
  • Also , not letting sustainable habits fall by the wayside, despite these uncertain times.

World Food Day 2020 | UPSC


  • Digital technologies are key to transforming the way food is produced, processed, traded and consumed .
  • They have the potential to close the great digital gap between developed and developing countries, cities and rural areas, men and women, young and old.

But digitalization is a distant reality for over 3 billion people in the world who lack access to internet, most of whom live in rural and remote areas.

  • New technologies promise revolutionary changes for smallholder farmers.


  • This includes satellite imaging
  • Remote sensing and mobile
  • Block chain Apps with the potential to optimize food chains
  • Increase access to nutritious foods
  • Reduce food loss and waste
  • Improve water management
  • Fight against pests and diseases
  • Monitor forests or prepare farmers for disasters.

Intensive training to enhance farmers’ digital skills, and giving voice to their needs and ideas, will be essential.


  • FAO supports the countries as they identify partnerships to make this a reality, including investment opportunities from the private sector.
  • This will be crucial to build the necessary infrastructure – broadband connections, data service providers etc.

Improved data analysis will also help governments in developing countries to make better decisions.

  • FAO offers sound technical advice on how better regulation and adequate training can pave the way to a digital future for food and agriculture.


  • A key focus this year is elimination of Trans Fats from the food supply chain.

A food toxin present in Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils (PHVOs) (e.g. vanaspati), baked and fried foods.

  • Trans Fat is a major contributor to the rise in non-communicable diseases in India.
  • Trans fat is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVD).
  • Eliminating CVD risk factor is especially relevant during COVID-19 as people with CVD are predisposed to have serious conditions having an impact on mortality.
  • The government’s effort to make India Trans Fat free by 2022, is a year ahead of WHO’s target.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The need of consuming nutritious food got the long-due impetus and the problem of food scarcity got the attention it really needed.

This year’s World Food Day is devoted to highlight food and agriculture as a significant part of COVID-19 response.

  • Back home in India, PM Narendra Modi will also be launching a commemorative coin to mark the special day.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | World Food Day 2020 | UPSC


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