Visit of José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, to Andris Piebalgs: joint press briefing
Type: Complete press conference
End production: 10/10/2012 First transmission: 10/10/2012
On 10 October 2012, Andris Piebalgs, Member of the EC in charge of Development, received the visit of José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, at the European Commission in Brussels.
Following their meeting they gave a statement on food security.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and Andris Piebalgs, Member of the EC in charge of Development, following their meeting at the European Commission in Brussels
||Soundbite by José Graziano da Silva (in ENGLISH) saying that it is a great pleasure for him to be here with Andris Piebalgs and to talk about food security. Food security nowadays became perhaps one of the highest priorities for the world. They have learnt from the past that this is impossible to achieve food security only in one country or one region. . No one will achieve it alone neither a country nor the private sector nor the institutions like FAO. This is a global issue and partnership is necessary. So becoming partner of the EU for the FAO is very important. They are able to work together in very important regions, especially in Africa, in the Sahel, where the proposal for building resilience is a key issue, at this moment, not keep moving from crisis to crisis but achieve the goal to give the population of that area to become more resilient to the crisis. They are also working together to improve smallholders farmers' productivity. This is very important; improving agriculture has been proven to be an important way-out of poverty. In several regions like Asia, for example, which has the best numbers on hunger compared with twenty years ago. FAO has just launched the new figures about hunger. The biggest improvement came from Asia and, unfortunately, the bad news came form Africa so they will need to keep their work focused on Africa and they are planning to work together in a different approach. They have been talking now about a "Zero Hunger Challenge". That puts together five pillars; zero hunger, zero stunting, a sustainable food system improving smallholder productivity and zero waste of food production. With the partnership of the EU, they hope to make important progress and very quick results in Africa.
||Soundbite by Andris Piebalgs (in ENGLISH) saying that he is very pleased about the cooperation with FAO because they have a long standing cooperation in food security. They need to strengthen agricultural food security in global discussions and also global development cooperation. There are three basic reasons about it. The first one: there are millions of stunted children. Malnutrition, access to food is still a problem in lot of places of the world. A new report about sub-Saharan Africa definitely demonstrated it. The second issue is perspective. If it is forecast by 2030 a crisis of 50 percent of the amount for food, perhaps it won't be 50 percent, perhaps it will be 40 percent but they know what will happen with prices if there is no response of production. Prices usually affect the most vulnerable so they clearly see that they have a challenge. The third is the issue of smallholder economic growth and poverty in general. By supporting smallholders to help them feed themselves, it creates wealth and economic development. This is a way for a lot of countries to go out of poverty. These three elements together brought EU on a strategy that they will support and he thinks that the "Zero Hunger Challenge" gives them a new opportunity to pull all their strength and to reach a situation where reports show that malnutrition rates are very low even if is difficult to expect a complete zero but he hopes they will get such a report sooner or later.
||Soundbite by José Graziano da Silva (in ENGLISH) saying that they also agreed to work on global governance regarding food security. The EU and FAO will need to work more closely to implement global governance in this issue.
||José Graziano da Silva and Andris Piebalgs shaking hands and leaving the room