FAO presents plan to fight poverty, hunger in LatAm



FAO presents plan to fight poverty, hunger in LatAm

The strategy, named “100 Territories Free of Poverty and Hunger,” seeks to work with local governments to identify critical points that require urgent attention in the region.

“The first phase of the strategy focuses on five priority countries, namely Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic,’’ the FAO said.

The 10-year plan foresees work with governments in the creation of a coalition of important social partners from the private sector, academia and the international community.

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the FAO have identified close to 2,000 municipalities in 14 countries within the region that have over 40 million people living in extreme poverty and suffering from food insecurity.

“We are talking about municipalities in countries like Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic or Brazil,’’ Julio Berdegue, FAO regional representative, said.

According to Berdegue, these countries have made significant advances in their development, in whose forgotten territories there are still children suffering from hunger.

“These backward territories are like places stuck in time.

“In addition, in the countries with the biggest advances there are rural territories that have been left behind, where people live in social conditions which resemble those of 50 years ago,’’ he said.

Half of these people, the number of which is 20.9 million, live in the countryside, while the rest live in towns and small cities.

Almost one in five are indigenous or of African descent.


Nigeria to participate in agriculture transformation initiative -FAO



The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) on Monday says Nigeria has expressed its interest to join the Hand- in-Hand initiative to accelerate agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development.

Mr David Tsokar, FAO National Communication Officer, made this known in a statement in Abuja.

The statement said that the country was ready to join the other 20 countries currently involved in this new initiative.

“There are incidents of floods in most parts of the country, where much of the food is produced, like we have in Kebbi state; we have also seen growing conflicts over land resources;

“ Yet many farmers still face challenges related to market access and these affect farming and food production.

According to the statement, the Hand-in-Hand initiative was launched in 2019 by FAO’s Director General, Qu Dongyu, to support evidence-based, country-led and country-owned investments for eradicating poverty and ending hunger and all forms of malnutrition.

“The initiative will help countries to develop independent investment plans to close food gaps, end malnutrition, support economic development and reduce environmental impacts with concrete evidence.

All of which will lead to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals particularly goals number one and two on poverty eradication and ending hunger,”

The statement said that through the initiative, FAO would bring its technical expertise in all ares of its mandate, with emphasis on innovation and digital technologies.

FAO, however, assured commitment to support the country’s development through the initiative, innovation digitalisation of agriculture and called for a quick ratification and domestication of pending international legal instruments.

According to the statement, the minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono said the initiative was a good one and timely for the country to ensure food security and nutrition to all Nigerians.

“ Despite the plethora of challenges that have threatened food security in the country, the current administration is focused on empowering the rural people through modern food and agricultural systems that emphasize a value chain approach to feed its people and create jobs,” he pointed out.

The statement said that the minister directed that a letter expressing Nigeria’s interest to participate in the initiative be drafted immediately.

He also nominated a focal point from the Ministry, to liaise with the FAO team and other Government experts from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in assembling required data for analysis.

Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
Source: NAN
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FAO holds workshop on food, land use restoration



The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with Global Environment Facility on Tuesday,  held a workshop on food system, land use and restoration (FOLUR) impact programme in Abuja.

The titles of the workshop is, “Promoting Integrated Landscape Management and Sustainable Food systems in the Niger Delta Region in Nigeria”.

The FAO Representative in Nigeria, Mr Fred Kafeero said the programme was necessary as part of government commitment to promote sustainable cocoa and oil palm production.

Kafeero said that the geographical focus of the  proposed project lies in a landscape area where over  50 per cent of the remaining tropical rain forest were domiciled such as cross River and Ondo states.

According to him, the project will take into consideration the inherent potential of the Nigeria rain forest and the country’s need for cultivation of diverse agricultural commodities like oil palm, cocoa and cassava in a sustainable manner.

He said the project would also contribute in curbing expansion of agricultural activities in high conservation value forests and to protect biodiversity within target states.

He noted that deforestation was at 3.7 per cent in Nigeria due to the impact of agricultural activities causing environmental degradation such as deforestation, declining soil fertility, biodiversity loss and reduction of ecosystem services.

The FAO Representative however applauded the policies and strategies adopted by the government to ensure sustainable management of forest and ecosystems.

He said it would improve food security as well as aimed at 20 per cent reduction in emission by 2030 as contained in Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Agriculture Promotion Plan (APP).

He said FAO was committed to deepen partnership with the FG in sustainable management of natural resources in addressing impact of climate change and the reduction of the Green House Gas Emission arising from agricultural activities.

The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar in his remarks said the program would be set to address issues on livelihood and repositioning environment for sustainability of continuous existence.

He said there has been progress made in remedying the devastated environment and promised to do more by partnering with the ministry and other development partners.

He said the success of the project would be toward a sustained and nurtured environment at all levels.

The Director in charge of environment, Dr Bolatito Obisesan in her address said the environment has been under intense pressure and immediate action must be taken to survive the magnitude of degradation by human activities and natural alteration.

She said the programme was expected to focus on eliminating the risk of further expansion of farmlands into natural biodiversity habitats and forests, erosion of genetic diversity of land and water resources.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the proposed programme is for four years with two states Cross River and Ondo.  .
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World food price index rises for third month running in August – FAO



World food prices rose for a third month running in August, led by coarse grains, vegetable oils and sugar, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 96.1 points last month versus 94.3 points in July.

The Rome-based FAO also said in a statement that worldwide cereal harvests remained on course to hit an annual record in 2020.

The agency’s cereal price index rose 1.9 per cent in August from the month before and seven per cent above its value a year earlier.

Among the major cereals, sorghum, barley and rice prices rose the most, FAO said.

Maize also climbed strongly, pushed up by concerns over United States production prospects following recent crop damage in Iowa.

The vegetable oil price index climbed 5.9 per cent month-on-month, returning to around the levels registered when the coronavirus crisis hit the world at the start of the year.

Palm oil was buoyed by expected output slowdowns in major producing countries, which, combined with firm global import demand, were expected to result in lower inventory levels.

Average sugar prices rose 6.7 per cent from July, reflecting forecasts of a reduction in production due to unfavourable weather conditions in the European Union and Thailand.

Strong import demand in China also helped push prices higher.

By contrast, the dairy index was little changed on the month, with falls in cheese and whole milk powder offset by stronger butter and skim milk quotations.

The meat index was also largely steady, with bovine and poultry prices in retreat while pig meat prices rose after four consecutive months of declines, as Chinese imports jumped.

FAO revised down its forecast for the 2020 cereal season by 25 million tonnes, largely due to expectations of a lower maize production in the United States

However, despite this reduction, the agency still expected a record harvest this year of almost 2.765 billion tonnes, up three per cent on 2019 levels.

“Record maize harvests are forecast for Argentina and Brazil while global sorghum production is expected to grow by six per cent from the previous year.

“Worldwide rice production in 2020 is also expected to reach a new record of 509 million tonnes,’’ FAO said.

The forecast for world cereal utilisation in 2020/21 hit 2.746 billion tonnes, up two per cent on the 2019/20 level.

The estimate for world cereal stocks by the close of seasons in 2021 was 895.5 million tonnes, down 33.4 million tonnes since July.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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FAO Representative promises technical support to enhance food security in Nigeria



The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Nigeria, has pledged the organisation’s readiness to provide technical support that would grow and improve the country’s food contribution chain.

Mr Fred Kafeero, FAO Country Representative to Nigeria, made the pledge in a statement issued on Monday by, Mr David Tsokar, the organisation’s National Communication Officer in Abuja.

Kafeero also oversees the organisation’s operations in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He said that part of his mandate was to strengthen FAO’s existing excellent cooperation of over 40 years with the Nigerian Government.

He reiterated the UN body’s commitment toward providing normative and technical support that would effectively drive the food and agriculture sector.

The country representative noted that such contribution would help Nigeria realise its economic diversification agenda and in line with her agriculture promotion policy (APP).

“My arrival in the country coincides with the launch of FAO’s Hand-in-Hand initiative, aimed at accelerating agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty and end hunger in all its forms.

“This is in line with the spirit of sustainable development goals (SDGs) where strong partnerships within the UN system, the international and national stakeholders is key in mobilising investments, financing, policy and technical expertise, technologies among others in the sector,’’ Kafeero said.

“Within the framework of the UN’s Sustainable Development Partnership Framework (UNSDPF), FAO’s country programming framework (2018-2022) has prioritised technical assistance for Nigeria to develop and implement evidence-based agricultural policy.’’

According to him, it will also regulate frameworks to strengthen national food and nutrition security, promote decent employment for youths and women in key agriculture value chains.

He said it would ensure the sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystems and enhance disaster risk reduction, humanitarian response and building of resilience.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, who received Kafeero into the country, said that agriculture was key in President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s quest to diversify the economy, ensure food security and provide employment opportunities, especially to rural dwellers.

The minister noted that the protracted security challenge had worsened the country’s food insecurity, saying that FAO’s efforts to mitigate the situation was highly appreciated.

“We look forward to working with you to strengthen our agriculture sector.

“We are here as a ministry to cooperate with you to make it easier for you to help us – to work together,’’ Onyeama said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Kafeero takes over from Mr Suffyan Koroma, who completed his tour of duty in Nigeria on the Feb. 29.

Kafeero, a national of Uganda, was until his arrival in Nigeria, the FAO’s Representative to Tanzania for four years.

He improved and fostered effective partnerships for sustainable investment in the agriculture sector that addressed major food security and nutrition challenges in that country.

Prior to taking up the responsibility in the East African country, he served at the FAO’s headquarters in Rome, as an expert in the area of sustainable forest management.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)
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