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Monday, November 12, 2018

‘Strengthen indigenous food systems key to achieving zero-hunger world’ - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Indigenous Food systems and indigenous traditional knowledge have survived hundreds and sometimes thousands of years, therefore they may have some of the answers we are looking for, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to him, FAO considers indigenous and tribal peoples as fundamental actors in the fight against poverty, hunger and all other forms of malnutrition, as well as in the promotion of sustainable agriculture practices.

Graziano da Silva also said in a keynote speech wrapping up High-Level Expert Seminar on Indigenous Food Systems held to explore how to build on traditional knowledge to achieve Zero Hunger. Failing to grasp and support indigenous food systems risks losing ancestral knowledge and centuries of know-how.

"The loss of biodiversity, is also the loss of our identity of our foods and medicines, said Taita Ignacio Morales, a traditional healer from the Muiska-Piuret people of Colombia.

Seventy panelists coming from indigenous communities and organizations; universities; research centers and more than 180 attendees and 49 countries, exchanged their expertise and knowledge on indigenous food systems. By combining presentations on traditional knowledge and expertise from scientific knowledge, the seminar allowed to increase the understanding and contributions that indigenous food systems have been making to the world.

Participants reviewed some of the analytical and field studies done over the past year by a task force set up by FAO and Bioversity International, the Center for International Forestry Research, France's Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) and the Indigenous Partnership for Food Security and Sovereignty, as well as several local indigenous organizations, on how indigenous communities around the world generate food while managing the territory and the environment in a sustainable way.

"In the path to achieve the Zero Hunger Goal we need more efficient food production methods. We need to cease environmentally unsound practices. We need to innovate on and open to all manner of food systems" highlighted Patrick Rata, New Zealand Ambassador.

Co-organized by FAO, UNESCO, UNPFII, FILAC and DOCIP, the expert seminar was an opportunity to exchange knowledge, understandings and concepts, which will be articulated in a future publication. The expert seminar and the publication are key contributions to the global debate on sustainability and climate resilience in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition.

Indigenous peoples number more than 370 million people speaking more than 4,000 languages in 90 countries and occupying around 22 percent of the earth's surface while acting as custodians of 80 percent of the planet's biodiversity. Yet while representing around 5 percent of the world's population, they make up 15 percent of the world's poor.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Pix: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

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