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Delegation from Côte d’Ivoire calls on FAO Director-General

DG says country could be regional bread basket; FAO will continue support
©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
FAO Director-General Jose' Graziano Da Silva meeting Fofana Mamadou, Special Advisor of the President of the Republic for the Environment and the Healthiness of Water and Forests, Côte d’Ivoire, FAO headquarters.

14 May 2013, Rome, Italy – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with a delegation from Côte d’Ivoire headed by Mamadou Fofana, Special Advisor to the President of the Republic for the Environment, Water Resources and Forests. The delegation is in Rome this week for the International Conference on Forests for Food Security and Nutrition. 

The delegation included representatives from a wide range of government ministries, including Agriculture, Planning, Water and Forests, as well as academia, recognizing that to foster true stewardship of forests as a contributor to national food security , inputs from various sectors would be needed from the outset to design a comprehensive strategy. The current strategic plan ends in 2015, so work is ongoing to prepare the next national strategy. The delegation praised FAO’s support to have the Forestry plan well prepared, taking into account to importance of non-timber products. In Côte d’Ivoire, they noted, forest cover has declined in recent years, and the problem needs to be addressed. 

The Ivorian representatives underlined that continued FAO support, knowledge and expertise would help the country to rebuild after several years of conflict, which have left some national institutions weakened. The government is particularly interested in the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge and in putting it in motion in Côte d’Ivoire. 

Graziano da Silva underlined that Côte d’Ivoire has a favourable climate and good soil, and if transport, distribution and market access were to be improved, pockets of hunger could be reduced. Côte d’Ivoire could potentially become a regional bread basket, providing food to other areas of the Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that have limited production capacity, such as  the arid Sahel region.