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Friday, March 10, 2023

Agrifood systems: How FAO empowers LDCs to acquire transformation knowhow - NaijaAgroNet

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The role of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in the past 40 years to empower Least Developing Countries (LDCs) to acquire transformational knowhow cannot be over-emphasised, report 
FAO Chief Economist, Máximo Torero - Agrifood systems: How FAO empowers LDCs to acquire transformation knowhow - NaijaAgroNet
"FAO has built an expansive portfolio of South-South and Triangular Cooperation initiatives by partnering with Southern and Northern member nations during the past 40 years," declared the Chief Economist of FAO, Mr. Maximo Torero Cullien in Doha.

He also said that through one of its flagship Programmes, the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Programme, helped for instance, LDCs to acquire the knowhow, solutions and technologies they need to sustainably transform their agrifood systems.

"With a total contribution of $130 million from China since 2009, national projects under the Programme have supported the transfer and exchange of agricultural technologies and solutions between China and several LDCs.

"In Madagascar, for example, the introduction of a Chinese hybrid rice technology in the country resulted in 10 tonnes per hectare increase in rice yield compared to 2.8 tons per hectare with local varieties.

"Uganda also witnessed an increase in rice production, from 2.5 tonnes to 10 tonnes per hectare, and a threefold increase in milk production, thanks to the high yield crop and animal varieties introduced through two phases of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation project in the country.

"Such examples show how the introduction of simple agricultural practices and technologies could generate dramatic results, transforming the lives of hundreds of thousands of farmers in LDCs," he said.

Other upcoming South-South Cooperation projects, he said. including in Cabo Verde, Sudan, Malawi and Namibia, will support the transfer of similar technologies focused on crop production, animal husbandry and agro-processing.

In addition to innovation and technologies, sustained finance and investment in rural development is also indispensable for sustainable agrifood system transformation in LDCs, Torero told the meeting.

While in Doha, FAO's Chief Economist also stressed that building resilience in agrifood systems is especially crucial for LDCs, since they are the most vulnerable nations to agrifood systems’ risk and uncertainty as a result of climate change, water stresses, pests and diseases, trade and macroeconomic policies and unexpected events.

Building such resilience involves minimizing risks or vulnerabilities, coping with risks when they occur, and having the capacity to recover and build back better, Torero said during a panel discussion last Monday.

Pius Ekeji/Editor

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