Rio Summit: agriculture plays a key role for a sustainable development
"About 500 million smallholdings of less than 2 hectares provide a living and food for 2 billion people in Asia and in Africa. Imagine what even a small gain of productivity multiplied by half a billion could mean for food security at global level", stated Dacian Cioloş, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, in the opening of a joint high-level event at the Rio Summit of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
He added: "Increasing agricultural productivity needs long term commitments, followed steadily by national governments, private sector as well as international donors. Sustainable agriculture is not a luxury but a necessity. It concerns us all, whether we live in Europe, or on any other place on Earth".
The event provided an opportunity for prominent speakers, from Brazil to the African Union, to share and debate experiences on policies to promote sustainable agriculture and development. Together with Dacian Cioloş, EU Commissioner in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development and Andris Piebalgs, EU Commissioner for Development, speakers included Rhoda Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union, Pepe Vargas, Brazilian Ministry of Agrarian Development, Elisabeth Atangana, President of the Pan-African Farmers' Forum (PAFFO) and Andre Leu, President International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).