World Food Day [October 16]

Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organisation in 1945. World Food Day is a chance to call for greater commitment to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2, and a day to highlight FAO’s role in leading global efforts to achieve Zero Hunger since the Organisation was established in 1945.

This article will provide information about an important day – World Food Day in the context of the IAS Exam.

This article is useful for the GS Paper III of the UPSC Syllabus.

The candidates can read more relevant information for their upcoming competitive exams from the links provided below:


  • Every year, on 16th October, the entire world celebrates World Food Day.
  • On 16th October, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations Organisation was established in 1945. Hence, 16th October is celebrated as World Food Day.
  • World Food Day is also celebrated by other global organisations like the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme.
  • These are the global organisations that are concerned with global food security.
  • The idea about World Food Day was given by Dr Pal Romany, who was the former Minister of Agriculture and Food with the Government of Hungary.
  • Hence, World Food Day was first established in 1979, and it is celebrated across the globe by more than 150 countries.

Two Major Problems of Food – Across the Globe

Currently, the entire world is grappling with two major challenges when it comes to food, they are: 

  • The issue of hunger ultimately leads to abnormal growth in children, malnutrition and death.
  • The other issue is with respect to consumption of a healthy diet, a problem faced by both poor and the rich, leading to problems in lifestyle such as diabetes and obesity.

Theme of World Food Day

The theme of the last three years of World Food Day are tabled below:

Theme of World Food Day 
Year  Theme
2021 “Safe Food Now For A Healthier Tomorrow”
2020 ‘Grow, nourish, sustain. Together. Our actions are our future’
2019 ‘Zero Hunger’

Important facts

  • The world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet one person in nine suffers from chronic hunger.
  • Roughly 60 per cent of the world’s hungry are women.
  • About 70 per cent of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture.
  • Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined.
  • Around 45 per cent of infant deaths are related to undernutrition. Stunting still affects 151 million children under the age of five years.
  • 1.9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – are overweight.
  • 672 million of these are obese, and 3.4 million people die each year due to being overweight.
  • In many countries, more people die from obesity than from homicides.
  • Malnutrition costs the global economy the equivalent of USD 3.5 trillion a year.

World Food Day, 2021

  • World Food Day 2021 was the first International Day to be celebrated at Expo Dubai as a series of activities and events that call for global solidarity in rethinking and reshaping food systems for people and the planet.
  • Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar.
  • These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to achieve Zero Hunger, ensuring food security and nutritious diets for all. Also read about Global Hunger Index 2021, from the linked article.
  • World Food Day 2021 will be marked a second time while countries around the world deal with the widespread effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
  • While COVID-19 has not been transmitted by food, the pandemic has sharpened the focus on food safety-related issues, such as hygiene, antimicrobial resistance, zoonotic diseases, climate change, food fraud and the potential benefits of digitalizing food systems.
  • It has also identified weaknesses or vulnerabilities in food production and control systems. For the immediate future, minimising disruptions in the food supply chains remains one of the highest priorities of all governments, as consumers must have reliable access to food.

World Food Day [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

FAQ about World Food Day

What is the theme for World Food Day 2021?

The theme for World Food Day 2021 is “Safe food now for a healthy tomorrow”.

When is National Food Day celebrated?

National Food Day is celebrated annually on 24th October. The movement tries to seek a balance between environment, affordability and nutrition.

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