NESFAS partner communities celebrate World Food Day

Biodiversity, Repairing food systems, Food sustainability, Green economy, Natural resources

World Food Day celebration in Pyngkya, East Khasi Hills

October 19, 2020 – World Food Day, a day dedicated to the fight against hunger in the world, is celebrated every year on October 16, 2020 in the world. To commemorate this day, the North East Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) with its partner organizations – Society for Urban and Rural Empowerment (OF COURSE) and Northeast Network (NEN), Nagaland – organized several programs in 27 communities in Meghalaya and Nagaland. It can be mentioned here that all government SOPs and measures were followed during the events.

In his message from Rome, the President of NESFAS and Coordinator of the Indigenous Partnership, Phrang Roy said: ‘, let us remember that in areas where our traditional culture, our oral traditions, our life in balance with nature and with each other the others have been preserved, we have prospered. He added, “This World Food Day is therefore an opportunity for us as indigenous peoples to show and tell our national and international leaders that our traditional indigenous food systems and our biological and cultural diversity are crucial instruments for a world. ”

Keeping in mind the theme of this year’s celebration: grow, nurture, support. Together in Pyngkya (East Khasi Hills), community members organized a food group scavenger hunt for children, in which participants were divided into three groups. The children were then sent to the forest and nearby crop fields, along with adults, to feed on the 10 food groups in less than an hour.

In Khweng and Madanrtiang (Ri-Bhoi), members of the Participatory Guarantee System (SPG) and the Agroecology Learning Circle (ALC) organized a drawing competition for children from their respective communities. An Agrobiodiversity (ABD) competition was also held where community members were invited to identify the different food plants in their communities. In the evening, some Anganwadi workers as well as some members of ALC organized an awareness program and spoke about the importance of conserving agrobiodiversity and local foods.

Agrobiodiversity hunting in Madanrtiang, Ri-Bhoi

To instill the importance of local foods to children, community members from Laitthemlangsah, Nongwah, Dewlieh (all under East Khasi Hills), Umwang Nongbah, Khliehumstem (Ri-Bhoi) and Mawlum Mawjahksew (West Khasi Hills), organized drawing competitions on various food-related themes. However, members of the Mawhiang, Lad Mawphlang, Laitsohpliah and Laitumiong communities held indigenous cooking competitions throughout the day.

Native Cooking Contest in Mukhap, West Jaintia Hills

The NESFAS team in Garo Hills marked the occasion in Samingre, West Garo Hills with other partner communities – Darichikgre, Daribokgre and Durakantragre – where community animators participated in a seed exchange program. The program also included knowledge sharing on the importance of indigenous food systems by the Darichikgre, Daribokgre and Durakantragre CFs. Chenxiang R Marak, Associate of NESFAS (Garo Hills) said: “The CF also talked about the importance of seeds and right after that there was a seed exchange between these four communities. These are all traditional and local seeds that have been exchanged to ensure seed sovereignty. Samingre self-help groups also sold fresh local vegetables and value-added products on the site.

Indigenous cooking contest in Sasatgre

NEN, on the other hand, held a cooking competition for rural youth at the NEN Resource Center in Chizami, Phek District, Nagaland under the theme of this year. The event brought together 65 participants, mostly young people from Chizami and neighboring villages. The aim of the program was to bridge the growing gap between young people and local food systems. It is an attempt to help young people understand the importance of local food, rediscover and appreciate traditional recipes, explore and exchange innovative recipes using local ingredients.

World Food Day celebrations in Cham Cham, East Jaintia Hills

On the other hand, three SURE partner communities celebrated the day by organizing an essay contest and recitation contest in Cham Cham (Jaintia Hills), an ABD walk in Thangbuli and an indigenous cooking contest in Mukhap. Participants were only allowed to cook indigenous dishes from traditional and local ingredients.

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