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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FAO boss urges academia to join fight against hunger

José, FAO Director General

The Director-General of the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), José Graziano da Silva has called on the academia to be involved in the essential and politically important research into rural poverty.
According to José, one of the great challenges man faces today is to make use of academic knowledge to comprehend and improve the life of rural populations all over the world. “We need to look at the reality outside of university walls,” he said.
José in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet affirmed that food insecurity, nutrient deficiencies and unsafe food top the list of most pressing issues in the fight against hunger and rural development.
Unequal competition between small-scale and large scale food producers, NaijaAgroNet gathered also contributes to hunger, yet small-scale farmers account for a larger percentage of food produce and any unequal competition will drive them out of operation.
“Academics should look into the issue of governance of the food and agriculture sector, both at global and local levels, and how to achieve a fair distribution of benefits,” José recommended that there is the need to reduce transportation and storage cost as well as food waste and loss if we want more people to be eating healthy diets, based on fresh foods.
The FAO boss also recommended a better conceptual clarification and practical proposals from academics and policy makers.

Yinka Awosanya/LS
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