Agriculture

World Food Day: COVID-19 threatens food fair –tourism expert

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Mr Shola  Ilupeju, the initiator and Chief Executive Officer of Travel Marketing Partners, says the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the annual National Unity Food Fair by his organisation and others in commemorating the World Food Day observed on every Oct. 16.

 Ilupeju made the observation in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, observing that he had to postpone to December his national annual food fair to allow participants to prepare for the event.

“World Food Day is to highlight the importance of food to humanity and to fight hunger and poverty; a day of action dedicated to tackling global hunger.

“The annual national food fair is where people from around the country come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger.

“But the event has to be postponed because of the effects of COVID-19 that are affecting all sector of the economy and so, the 2020 National Unity Food Fair is going to be in December.

“Because of its importance to the Nigeria economy, we cannot afford to cancel it but rather move it to a later date,” he said.

He said this year’s theme of the fair– “Together we eat what we grow and grow what we eat’’ — is in line with the Federal Government’s policy on food security.

Ilupeju said that the fair was conceived to enhance the present administration’s efforts towards food self-sufficiency as well as diversification of the economy.

“Some of the objectives of the fair include promotion of popular Nigeria dishes from various sections of the country, encouraging culinary exchanges among Nigeria ethnic groups for national integration, educating Nigeria families on balance diet and good eating habits, among others.

“Other objectives are to identify and empower women with talents for Nigeria cuisine, to use this platform to generate, demand, enhance and increase employment among women,’’ he said.

He said that this would boost government’s National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and to complement government’s efforts in the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.

Ilupeju called on all stakeholders to be patience and collaborate with the organisers to ensure that Nigeria would attain food security by 2030.

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