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The second phase of the World Food Day commemoration was held at S. A. Selvanayam Hall, Batticaloa on 27th October 2016 with a large gathering of around 500 invitees, farmers, school children, religious and political leaders, academics, Government officials and Caritas staff. The event was organized by Caritas Batticaloa – EHED under the guidance of Caritas Sri Lanka as part of a Caritas Norway -supported project titled “Substantiation of Community Institutions for Sustainable Agriculture to Ensure Food Security”.
The day’s events included many activities designed with the objective of creating awareness on the importance of growing and consuming organic food as well as educating the public on the adverse health effects of agro-chemicals.
School children, farmers and many more people who support the healthy organic food campaign and beneficiaries of the Caritas Food Security Project took part in a public rally bearing posters and placards that depicted the main theme of the event, namely, the ensuring of food security for all.
The Bishop of Batticaloa, Rt.Rev.Dr. Joseph Ponniah graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Rev. Fr. Shanth Kumar Weliwita, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka, Hon K. Thurairajasingam – Eastern Provincial Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, Cooperative, Food and Food Supplies, Dr. S.M. Hussain – Eastern Provincial Director of Agriculture, Mr R. Kokulathasan - Deputy Director of Agriculture (Batticaloa District), Dr S. Sutharsan - Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Agriculture, Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL), Dr K.T.Sundaresan - Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Healthcare Sciences, EUSL were among the dignitaries who shared important messages on the occasion.
To mark the event, Caritas Batticaloa EHED published a booklet on the preparation of pest-repellants and distributed it among the farmers who participated in the program. Rev.Fr. Geron de Lima, Director of Caritas Batticaloa EHED along with his staff directed the arrangements for the World Food Day event. It was one of the significant activities planned under the sustainable agriculture programme which is aimed at ensuring food security among the rural subsistence farming families. Thus far, more than 5,000 such families have been reached and given various trainings including organic home gardening, preparation of pest-repellants, and compost fertilizer as well as a wide range of climate adaptation- related awareness sessions.