UN to focus on sustainable food systems, agriculture

THE Food and Agriculture Organization at its regional conference in Chile last week.
THE Food and Agriculture Organization at its regional conference in Chile last week. -

THE Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), last week, approved three new regional initiatives for Latin America and the Caribbean at its regional conference in Chile.

In a release, the FAO said these initiatives will guide its actions for the next two years. These include: sustainable food systems to provide healthy diets for all; hand in hand to achieve prosperous and inclusive rural societies; sustainable and resilient agriculture.

The organisation's director-general Qu Dongyu said while the covid19 pandemic exposed the "weaknesses of the world's food systems," it has also created an opportunity to do better.

“We will continue to support all of our members in their efforts to transform their food systems by making them more efficient, healthy and sustainable."

The conference had a total of 436 participants from different governments, 50 ministers, 40 vice-ministers and 103 observers. And the online live stream gained some 30,000 views.

FAO’s regional representative Julio Berdegué said innovation will be a "cross-cutting priority of FAO's work in the region, including agricultural, food, technological and digital innovation.

“FAO will work with countries to improve consumer information and consumption habits to promote healthy diets, and will support producers to sustainably increase healthy food production.

"It will do so by facilitating access to productive assets, financing and training for small and medium producers, and promoting technological and digital innovation."

The release said FAO will also seek to reduce food loss and waste, improve food distribution systems, stimulate short supply chains and trade policies that promote greater food security, along with better food quality and safety.

Berdegué said, "We will help countries increase investment in public goods and infrastructure, strengthen secure access to land, extend the coverage and quality of rural services, and generate greater market links for the agricultural sector.

"Achieving this requires better disaster risk management, restoring soils, making efficient use of water, promoting low-emission livestock and the sustainable management of forests, fisheries and aquaculture."

Ecuador is expected to host the next regional conference.


"UN to focus on sustainable food systems, agriculture"

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