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Showing posts with label FAO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label FAO. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

FAO DG hails partnership potential with civil society -NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
Multiple level partnerships have been described as critical to achieving a world without hunger, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said Saturday at a meeting with leading exponents of civil society and indigenous peoples representing small scale food producers and family farmers.
"We need all of civil society to play an active role", the Director-General said in wide-ranging remarks underscoring the need to improve global food systems. "FAO is here to help you."
He addressed the annual Forum of the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples' Mechanism (CSM), a vehicle for the participation of non-governmental actors in policy formulation at the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), itself a multistakeholder platform. Today's event focused on how to strengthen commitments to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, also known as Zero Hunger.
A cornerstone of effective action means making sure "family farmers are the final beneficiaries," Qu added, noting that the UN Decade of Family Farming  offers a great opportunity to implement and leverage ideas and recommendations made by CFS.
He emphasized the importance of learning and working together for concrete solutions with "interaction, brainstorming and open minds." In this context, digital solutions can play a decisive role in improving the livelihoods of small scale and vulnerable food producers, particularly in relation to the impacts of climate change, according to the Director-General.
Qu also emphasized that FAO would pioneer youth and women engagement initiatives at all levels and highlighted the positive way that FAO's Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) helps generate economic value, knowledge and rural-development solutions.
"We need to defeat hunger and poverty, which are inextricably linked," said CFS Chair Mario Arvelo. "We need to use every tool in the toolbox, as the Director-General said."
CFS itself needs to continually expand its inclusiveness, Arvelo said.
The CSM is a self-organized body designed to give smallholder family farmers, non-governmental organizations, Indigenous Peoples, fisherfolks, herders, youth, consumers and other global citizens a voice in the work of the upcoming session of CFS, which starts on 14 October and lasts throughout the week.
The CSM's main message to the upcoming CFS session, which starts on Monday 15 October, is that "the possibility of attaining zero hunger is becoming more and more unlikely" and that policy initiatives need not just to be accelerated but to change direction.
The group noted with approval CFS progress in thematic areas such youth employment in agriculture and food systems and reiterated its priorities in the ongoing process of developing Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, an exercise expected to be completed in 2020.
Among the panelists alongside FAO's Director-General at Saturday's event were Silvia Dywilli from the World March of Women, Nettie Wiebe of La Via Campesina, Azra Sayeed of the International Women's Alliance and Musa Sowe of ROPPA, organizations representing a broad array of global regions.


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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

FAO, IPPC to jointly lead crusade on plant health - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:
The UN General Assembly invited FAO, with the International Plant Protection Convention
(IPPC) Secretariat, to serve as the lead agency to spearhead activities related to International Year of Plant Health, and called on governments, civil society, and the private sector to engage at global, regional and national levels, reports NaijaAgroNet.

An International Plant Health Conference will be among thousands of plant health events to be held around the world during the course of 2020.

Finland first proposed the year to the governing body of the International Plant Protection Convention in 2015. In July 2017, the FAO Conference adopted a resolution in support of the proposal.

"Pests and diseases don't carry passports or observe immigration requirements and, therefore, the prevention of the spread of such organisms is very much an international undertaking that requires the collaboration of all countries. This is why Finland proposed to proclaim 2020 the International Year of Plant Health," Jari Leppä, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland said.


"Despite the increasing impact of plant pests and diseases, resources are scarce to address the problem," said Semedo. "We hope this new International Year of Plant Health will trigger greater global collaboration to support plant health policies at all levels which will contribute significantly to the Sustainable Development Agenda," she added.

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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.

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Pix: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

AfDB, FAO sign deal to end hunger, malnutrition - NaijaAgroNet

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and Food and AgricultureOrganisation (FAO) have signed deal aimed at catalysing agriculture sector investments in Africa to end hunger and malnutrition and increase prosperity throughout the continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The agreement, NaijaAgroNet gathered comprised that AfDB and FAO are committed to raise up to $100 million over five years, to support joint partnership activities.

The new alliance precisely seeks to enhance the quality and impact of investment in food security, nutrition, social protection, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva signed the agreement, which builds on a longstanding collaboration between their organizations, at the UN agency's Rome headquarters.

"FAO and the AfDB are deepening and broadening our partnership to assist African countries achieve the sustainable development goals. Leveraging investments in agriculture, including from the private sector, is key to lift millions of people from hunger and poverty in Africa and to ensure that enough food is produced and that enough rural jobs are created for the continent's growing population," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said: "The signing of this supplementary agreement is a milestone moment in the relationship between the African Development Bank and FAO. It signals our joint commitment to accelerate the delivery of high quality programs and increased investment for public-private-partnerships in Africa's agriculture sector. This will help us achieve the vision of making agriculture a business, as enshrined in the Bank's Feed Africa strategy."

The Bank's Feed Africa strategy, launched in 2015, targets to invest $24 billion into African agriculture over a ten-year period. The aim is that of improving agricultural policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions to ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that improved technologies are made available to reach several millions farmers.


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Monday, July 23, 2018

FAO reiterates support to eradicate hunger, malnutrition - NaijaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has reiterated support to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, especially in Portuguese-speaking countries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva disclosed this in Cape Verde, Monday, as part of efforts at consolidating the National Councils of Food and Nutritional Security function.

He pointed out to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) that in the implementation of their Regional Strategy for Food Security and Nutrition to eradicate hunger and will ensure adequate food in the lusophone countries.

He stressed that FAO will continue to support the work of the National Food and Nutritional Security Councils (CONSAN), that have been set up in seven of the bloc’s nine member states (Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Timor-Leste, Guinea-Bisau and, as of last week, Portugal)) and said he hoped that both Angola and Equatorial Guinea would follow their example.

"National Councils are fundamental to promote better governance of the Regional Strategy and an inclusive dialogue between the various governmental and non-governmental actors," said Graziano da Silva, addressing the Second Meeting of the Food and Nutrition Security Council of the CPLP taking place this week in Cape Verde.

"Today, more than ever, it is essential to listen to and consider the opinions of international organizations, civil society, the private sector, parliamentarians, research institutes and the academic world," he added.  Graziano da Silva reiterated that only by working together, the international community will be able to overcome the challenges for sustainable development and ensure that no one is left behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cape Verde, emphasized the importance of raising the status of CONSAN as an advisory body to CPLP Heads of State and Government, suggesting that is regular meetings always be held on the sidelines of CPLP summits.

The Santa Maria Declaration adopted today by CONSAN-CPLP recognized Graziano da Silva’s work and leadership as FAO Director-General and his efforts to make it a more efficient and effective organization in support of member states for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The community of Portuguese-speaking countries includes Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor Leste.

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Pix: FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

Monday, July 16, 2018

Environmental institute ISPRA joins FAO’s renewed partnership - NaijaAgroNet

The Italian Institute for Environmental Research and Protection (ISPRA) has joined FAO and three of Italy's main research institutions - the National Research Council (CNR), the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), and the National Agency for New Technologies,  Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) - in a partnership aimed at enhancing sustainable food production and nutrition in developing countries, reports NaijaAgroNet.

"The world is facing unprecedented global challenges that affect the long-term sustainability of food and agriculture systems, impacting global food security and the livelihoods of millions of family farmers worldwide," said Maria Helena Semedo, FAO Deputy Director-General and Natural Resources Coordinator.  

With a world population expected to grow to nearly 10 billion people in 2050, , FAO estimates that agricultural output will need to increase by almost 50 percent compared to 2012 to meet projected food demand. Research is going to be crucial to help countries find the right balance between increasing agricultural productivity while sustainably managing valuable natural resources and conserving ecosystems.

"Italy's top research institutions can provide crucial expertise, information and science to move towards sustainable food systems and  the achievement of Zero Hunger by 2030," Semedo added.

"With this wide-ranging cooperation agreement Italy can better support FAO in the field of agriculture innovation for family farmers and smallholders. Together, we can  transform  agriculture and food systems to make them sustainable in innovative ways!" said Ambassador Pierfrancesco Sacco, Permanent Representative of the Italian Republic to the UN Agencies in Rome during the signing of the partnership. 


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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

FAO convenes 34th Session on Near East regional confab 2018

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Near East Regional Conference has opened in Italy bringing together delegates from 30 member countries across the region, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The participants, NaijaAgroNet gathered, include 15 government ministers, to elaborate on regional challenges and priorities for food security, and to promote regional coherence on global policies.

The Conference is set within the framework of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 2 Zero Hunger. At a high-level side event on Zero Hunger on 10 May, attendees will examine the challenges to achieving Zero Hunger in conflict zones including Somalia and Yemen, and develop recommendations for strengthening collective action.

The agenda also includes agricultural transformation in the region and the challenge of youth employment and migration; adapting to climate change in semi-arid areas through agroecology; and regional cooperation to address transboundary plant, animal and fish pests and diseases.


Results and priorities for FAO in the Near East and North Africa Region will also be raised.

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Friday, May 4, 2018

GMG join forces in crafting global compact on migration

Joint efforts of the 22 United Nations agencies under the aegies of Global Migration Group (GMG) and led by the duo of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have resulted into crafting a global compact on migration, reports [NaijaAgroNet.

Speaking at the opening of the GMG meeting in London on Wednesday, the two co-chairs of the Group, IOM's Director General, William Lacy Swing and FAO's Director General, José Graziano de Silva, highlighted the importance of the current negotiations of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and of the Global Compact on Refugees, due to be completed later this year.

DG Swing said: "This is a period of great promise, but also uncertainty. The UN family, working in close partnership with each other, must be ready to support governments and relevant stakeholders at all levels in implementing the outcome of the Global Compact negotiations itself in the coming years."

"Migration can contribute to development, and that should be kept front and centre of public attention" added FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

"The GMG brings together the diverse expertise and operational capacity of its members. This is fundamental to harnessing the many opportunities migration brings for development, and managing the challenges that can arise. In addition, the members of the GMG can help states achieve the sustainable development goals which are influenced by human mobility."

The Global Migration Group (GMG) is an inter-agency group comprised of 22 UN agencies working on migration issues. It is co-chaired by FAO and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2018, and is providing technical support to the intergovernmental negotiations taking place in New York expected to lead to the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration by December 2018.

The Group discussed ways in which they can help ensure that communication on migration increases understanding, counters xenophobia and ensures a more balanced picture of migration, to give space to governments to develop fact-based migration policies. A number of events highlighting case studies and examples of good practice are planned for coming months.

The GMG's members include the following organizations, in addition to FAO and IOM: IFAD, ILO, OHCHR, UNCTAD, UNDESA, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNODC, UN Women, UNU, World Bank, WFP, WHO, and the UN regional commissions.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Sweden partners FAO to tackle dignity preservation @EMC

The Government of Sweden is partnering the Food andAgriculture Organisation (FAO) and The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan as well as Arab Republic of Egypt to tackle issues on “Preserving Dignity and Sharing Responsibility: Mobilizing Collective Action for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Extra-ordinary Ministerial Conference slated for March 15 at the FAO Headquarters, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, NaijaAgroNet gathered, will afford UNRWA to host the event on the oldest and largest UN humanitarian and human development programme in the Middle East, serving over five million Palestine refugees.

NaijaAgroNet equally gathered that UNRWA is experiencing the worst financial crisis in its 70 year history and may be forced to suspend services.

The Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Sweden and Egypt will co-chair the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference in support of UNRWA, which the aim to actively support a collective response by the international community to protect the rights and dignity of Palestinian Refugees and ensure that UNRWA’s unprecedented funding crisis of US$ 446 million is urgently resolved.


NaijaAgroNet the Extraordinary Ministerial Conference will include special attendance of the UN Secretary-General, Mr Antonio Guterres, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms Federica Mogherini.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

FAO warns that food insecurity is set to rise again

NaijaAgroNet:
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has warned that food insecurity may be on the rise again over the course of 2018 farming season, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The number of food-insecure people in the South African subregion is likely to rise over the course of 2018, partly reversing last year's sharp decline, the GIEWS alert warned.

According to the latest Special Alert issued by FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) and made available to NaijaAgroNet, FAO noted that in 2016, crop production declined due to El Niño drove up significantly the number of food-insecure people in the subregion.
In Malawi, for instance, FAO said, an estimated 6.7 million people and in Zimbabwe just over 4 million people were food insecure.  

“But the significant rebound in the subregion's cereal production to a record level in 2017 led food insecure numbers to fall by up to 90 percent, according to official estimates,” FAO said.

Maize production in 2017 increased 43 percent above the recent average and the subregion produced more than required for domestic consumption for the first time in five years, even excluding South Africa, a traditional net exporter. As a result, most countries were able to build up inventories. The higher stock levels should be able to partly cushion the effects of the likely production decreases to come. Local maize prices, currently down on a yearly basis, also reflect favourable supply conditions. 

However, at the household level, many smallholders and rural families are still recovering from losses due to the severe El Niño- associated drought, and they are vulnerable to a downturn, GIEWS noted. This is especially the case where harvests in 2017 were poor, such as Madagascar.

It is also likely to be the case in areas where the weather trends have been unfavourable, notably parts of Lesotho, southern and central areas of Mozambique, western South Africa, southern parts of Zambia and Malawi, eastern Zimbabwe and southwestern Madagascar.

Precipitation trends also matter greatly for the Fall Armyworm, an invasive species that has now been detected in all countries of the subregion, except Lesotho and Mauritius. While recent heavy rains in some localities may have contributed to containing the pest's spread, the general dry weather may help it spread and could exacerbate the impact on yields.


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Friday, February 9, 2018

Commodity prices broadly steady says FAO

NaijaAgroNet:
United Nations agency, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that food community prices broadly steady , reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the FAO Food Price Index which averaged 169.5 points in January, nearly unchanged from the previous month, as rising prices for staple grains and palm oil were offset by declining quotations for sugar, butter and cheese.

The FAO Cereal Price Index rose almost 2.5 percent from December, as the effect of large supplies was more than offset by concerns over weather and a weaker U.S. dollar. The index, which covers wheat, rice and coarse grains including maize, is 6.3 percent higher than its January 2017 level.

FAO's Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five major food commodity groups.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index was virtually unchanged in January, as palm oil values rose moderately while those for sunflower and rapeseed oils weakened.

The FAO Dairy Price Index declined 2.4 percent from December 2017.  Lower international price quotations for butter and cheese – spurred by abundant supplies in the northern hemisphere and Australia - outweighed higher prices of milk powders.

The FAO Sugar Price Index declined 1.6 percent to more than 30 percent below its year-ago level, driven by strong production outcomes and consequently ample export availabilities.


The FAO Meat Price Index was almost unchanged month-on-month, as weak import demand for poultry and pigmeat offset stronger demand for ovine meat and reduced quantities of bovine meat offered for sale from Oceania.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

EU, FAO agree to deepen strategic alliance, halve food waste

The European Union (EU) Commissioner of Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva have agreed to ratchet up collaboration between the two organizations to address food waste, food safety, and antimicrobial resistance in supply chains, reports NaijaAgroNet.

In a new letter of intent signed between, FAO and the EU, both pledged to work closely together to halve per capita food waste by 2030, a goal established under the new Sustainable Development Goals global agenda. It also commits them to intensified cooperation on tackling the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on farms and in food systems.

Speaking at a signing ceremony at FAO's Rome headquarters, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: "Food loss and waste represent an unacceptable, unethical and immoral squandering of scarce resources and increase food insecurity, while AMR marks a grave societal and economic burden," adding: "We are becoming more united, more efficient and more strategic in how we tackle these issues, and as such, this agreement should be celebrated."

Calling AMR growing global concern, Graziano da Silva said: "Unfortunately the use of antibiotics, including their use to promote growth, is already widespread."

He described FAO's vision that antibiotics and other antimicrobials should be only used to cure diseases and, in certain circumstances, to prevent epidemics. They should not be used for growth promotion, he said.    

Noting that food loss and waste is linked to many aspects of sustainable development, Graziano da Silva cited the importance of strong partnerships like that between the FAO and the EU in addressing the problem.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Good agricultural practices according to FAO

The importance of good agricultural practices has been stressed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO, through its Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo, at a United Nations General Assembly side event on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), Semedo said that good health, good productivity and good economies depend on safe and nutritious food, which underscored the importance of work done at field level to bring AMR under control.

"Progress in the fight against AMR depends on good agricultural practices. We need to promote sustainable agriculture and food systems," she said.

In addition, she said, "The use of antimicrobials in agriculture is not a substitute for insufficient hygiene and bad management practices."

She also said that "we need improved mechanisms for the quality assurance of pharmaceuticals because counterfeit, substandard medicines contribute to resistance. Although Codex Alimentarius develops impressive global surveillance guidance and codes of practice, there remains a staggering lack of capacity for adequate surveillance of AMR at national levels."


Semedo, therefore, urged the international community to act now to invest in the future “we want to build together.”

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Food security: Pope Francis donates to FAO

The Catholic pontiff, Pope Francis, in an unprecedented move, has symbolically donated €25,000 to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO's) efforts supporting people facing food insecurity and famine in East Africa, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Pope Francis said the funds are "a symbolic contribution to an FAO programme that provides seeds to rural families in areas affected by the combined effects of conflicts and drought."

The pontiff's remarks were contained in a letter to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva by Monsignor Fernando Chica Arellano, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN food agencies in Rome.

Pope Francis' gesture stemmed from a pledge he made in a message to FAO's Conference on 3 July 2017 and was "inspired also by the desire to encourage Governments," Monsignor Chica wrote in the letter.

Famine was declared in parts of South Sudan in February and while the situation has eased after a significant scaling up in the humanitarian response, some 6 million people in the country are still struggling to find enough food every day.

Meanwhile the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in five other East African countries - Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda - is currently estimated at about 16 million, which marks an increase of about 30 percent since late 2016.

Pope Francis, who has made solidarity a major theme of his pontificate, is set to visit FAO's headquarters on 16 October to mark World Food Day. This year the event is being held under the slogan: "Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development".


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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

OECD, FAO predict decline growth in world food prices

The duo of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) have predicted a decline in growth in the world food prices, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A joint press statement on the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026, informed NaijaAgroNet that the global food commodity prices are projected to remain low over the next decade compared to previous peaks, as demand growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to slow down and biofuel policies have a diminished impact on markets, according to the latest 10-year agricultural outlook published today by the OECD and FAO.

The Outlook also predicted that vegetable oils, sugar and dairy products are expected to be main provider of additional calories over next decade.

Equally, the Agricultural Outlook, NaijaAgroNet gathered indicated that the completed replenishment of cereal stocks by 230 million metric tonnes over the past decade, combined with abundant stocks of most other commodities, should also help limit growth in world prices, which are now almost back to their levels before the 2007-08 food price crisis.

The report foresees per capita demand for food staples remaining flat, except in least developed countries. Additional calories and protein consumption over the outlook period are expected to come mainly from vegetable oil, sugar and dairy products.

“Growth in demand for meat is projected to slow, with no new sources of demand projected to maintain the momentum previously generated by China,” part of the outlook showed.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

FAO heads to Ocean Conference

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has concluded plans to take active role in the forthcoming Oceanconference slated for the city of New York, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The conference, NaijaAgroNet gathered, would afford FAO a key role to play given its work on the sustainable use of marine resources upon which millions of people around the world depend for food security and for livelihoods.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that FAO is supporting countries to develop and implement the Blue Growth agenda which aimed at eliminating harmful fishing practices and overfishing while fostering approaches that promote growth, improve conservation, and support adaptation to climate change.

In addition, NaijaAgroNet reports that FAO has been instrumental in brokering the  Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA), which went into force in June 2016.

The theme of the conference, NaijaAgroNet report, has been geared towards partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14:: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.


The Ocean conference is holding at the United Nations office in New York between June 5 and 9.

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

From sea to plate: FAO leads tracking fish to keep illegal catches offshore

A Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)-led is pushing for the establishment of internationally agreed standards that could guide the development of catch documentation schemes aimed at keeping illegally caught fish off store-shelves and consumers' plates has taken an important step forward, reports NaijaAgroNet.

A set of draft Voluntary Guidelines on Catch Documentation Schemes was last week unanimously adopted by a technical consultation that brought a 5-year negotiation effort to a close, and are now poised for adoption by all FAO Members at the UN agency's upcoming bi-annual governing conference (Rome 3-8 July 2017).

Once approved by the Conference, the guidelines will act as an internationally-recognized "gold standard" reference for governments and businesses looking to establish systems that can trace fish from their point of capture through the entire supply chain - from "sea to plate" - in order to stop illegally caught fish from entering the marketplace.

Globally, some 91-93 million tonnes of fish are captured each year, and seafood products are among the world's most widely traded food commodities, with an export value of $142 billion in 2016.
On top of that, Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is estimated to strip as much as 26 million additional tonnes of fish from the oceans annually, damaging marine ecosystems and sabotaging efforts to sustainably manage fisheries.

Catch documentation schemes (CDS) offer a way to cut down on trade in illegal fish. The basic concept: shipments of fish are certified by national authorities as being caught legally and in compliance with best practices; certifying hard-copy documentation then accompanies the fish as they are processed and marketed nationally or internationally. Only fish with valid documentation can be exported or traded to markets where a CDS requirement exists.

Until recently, only a few such schemes had been established, and mostly focusing on high-value species whose overexploitation prompted particular concern, such as Chilean Seabass harvested in Antarctic waters, or Atlantic and Southern Bluefin Tuna.


But with seafood trade at record highs and consumer demand still rising, catch documentation schemes are increasingly seen as a tool that could be more widely applied. Indeed, the EU since 2010 has used a CDS that covers all fish shipments imported into the bloc from overseas; and in 2016, the United States announced its own scheme, the Seafood Import Monitoring Program.

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Rice institute, FAO join forces to sustain global rice production


The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have agreed to cooperate more closely to support sustainable rice production in developing countries to improve food security and livelihoods while safeguarding natural resources, reports NaijaAgroNet.

An agreement signed recently in Rome, NaijaAgroNet gathered, seeks to better pool the scientific knowledge and technical know-how of the two organizations so that they can expand and intensify their work globally.

The partnership primarily aims to enhance sustainable rice-based farming systems through capacity building activities - including assisting governments draw up and implement national and regional policies and strategies - to the benefit of small-scale farmers, especially women.

"The world faces very significant changes over the next few decades to produce the volume and quality of nutritious food to feed a global population heading for 10 billion people," said IRRI Director-General Matthew K. Morell. 

"Addressing these issues relies on global partnerships, and today, IRRI is delighted to be reaffirming through this Memorandum of Agreement our commitment to work with FAO to enhance sustainable rice-based production and food systems through awareness raising, capacity development, knowledge exchange, and evidence-based analyses for policy support."

For the FAO Deputy Director-General, Climate and Natural Resources, Maria Helena Semedo, with over three billion people across the globe eating rice every day, rice is critical to global food security.


"Ensuring sustainable rice production is a key contribution to the global goal of ending hunger. By teaming up with IRRI, already a long-standing partner, we will be able to scale up, complement and amplify our work towards reaching this goal," Semedo said.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Amid Chinese outbreak: FAO, WHO say surveillance, laboratory testing, clean markets to contain changing H7N9 virus

International organisations are rallying round China in reinforcing control amid outbreak of avian influenza, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Experts also said that a resurgent outbreak of a new strain of avian influenza that could be lethal 
for humans underscores the need for robust and rapid detection and response systems at animal source.

NaijaAgroNet also reports that this could reduce the risk associated with virus spread and impacts on public health, according to Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Equally, NaijaAgroNet reports that human cases of the H7N9 virus, first detected in China four years ago, have suddenly increased since December 2016 and it is estimated, that as of early March 2017, there have been more reported human cases of influenza A (H7N9) than those caused by other types of avian influenza viruses (H5N1, H5N6, etc.) combined.

As during previous waves, most of the patients infected reported a history of visiting live bird markets or coming into contact with infected birds. Since 2013, China has invested heavily in surveillance of live bird markets and poultry farms. However the surveillance of this virus has proven particularly challenging as until recently it has shown no or few signs of disease in chickens.

"Considering the potential for mutation of avian influenza virus, constant surveillance by national Veterinary Services of the different strains circulating in animals in their country is essential to protect both animal and human health", explains  Matthew Stone, Deputy Director General of the OIE.

"To protect human health and people's livelihoods, it is essential to tackle the disease at its source in poultry: efforts need to target eliminating H7N9 from affected farms and markets," said Vincent Martin, FAO's Representative in China.


"Targeted surveillance to detect the disease and clean infected farms and live bird markets, intervening at critical points along the poultry value chain - from farm to table - is required. There should be incentives for everybody involved in poultry production and marketing to enforce disease control."

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

FAO, UNICEF, WFP deploy massive relief operation

The trio of the United Nations Agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) and World Food Programme (WFP), with other partners, have conducted massive relief operations since the conflict began, and intensified those efforts throughout 2016 to mitigate the worst effects of the humanitarian crisis, reports NaijaAgroNet.

For example, the said that in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state, among others, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) assessment team found that humanitarian relief had lessened the risk of famine there.

Also, FAO has provided emergency livelihood kits to more than 2.3 million people to help them fish or plant vegetables. FAO has also vaccinated more than 6 million livestock such as goats and sheep to prevent further loss.

While WFP continued to scale up its support in South Sudan as humanitarian needs increase, and plans to provide food and nutrition assistance to 4.1 million people through the hunger season in South Sudan this year.

This, NaijaAgroNet gathered, includes lifesaving emergency food, cash and nutrition assistance for people displaced and affected by conflict, as well as community-based recovery or resilience programs and school meals. 

In 2016, WFP reached a record 4 million people in South Sudan with food assistance - including cash assistance amounting to US$13.8 million, and more than 265,000 metric tons of food and nutrition supplies. It is the largest number of people assisted by WFP in South Sudan since independence, despite problems resulting from the challenging context.

UNICEF aims to treat 207,000 children for severe acute malnutrition in 2017. Working with over 40 partners and in close collaboration with WFP, UNICEF is supporting 620 outpatient therapeutic programme sites and about 50 inpatient therapeutic sites across the country to provide children with urgently needed treatment.


Through a rapid response mechanism carried out jointly with WFP, UNICEF continues to reach communities in the most remote locations. These rapid response missions treat thousands of children for malnutrition as well as provide them with immunization services, safe water and sanitation which also prevent recurring malnutrition.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE
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