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A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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3 December 2013

 

FAO-BATAN Memorandum of Understanding
Signing Ceremony

 

Mr Agung Laksono, Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare of Indonesia

Mr Djarot Wisnubroto, Chairman of BATAN, Indonesian National Nuclear Energy Agency,

Mr Qu Liang, Director of the Joint FAO/I-A-E-A Program in Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture

Ladies and gentlemen,


It is an honor to welcome you to FAO for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO, through the Joint FAO/IAEA Program, and the National Nuclear Energy Agency of Indonesia (BATAN).

This agreement will intensify mutually beneficial cooperation in the application of nuclear techniques in food and agriculture.

Indonesia has a rich history and a lot to share in this field.

Indeed, Indonesia was the very first country to cultivate a mutant crop variety. This pioneering success was achieved by the release of a tobacco mutant variety, “Vorstenland”, in 1934.

Since then, BATAN has released numerous improved high yielding, disease resistant, early maturing varieties of rice, soybean, mungbean, and cotton.

For decades, BATAN has been a major player in national endeavors to ensure sufficient and high-quality food for the people of Indonesia.

These efforts have contributed to Indonesia´s success in the fight against hunger.

Since 1990, the country has rescued over 19 million people from hunger. It has also met the Millennium Development Goal One Hunger Target, to reduce by half the proportion of undernourished people in the country.

FAO is honored to have participated in these efforts. And the Government of Indonesia can continue to count on us to fight hunger and promote sustainable development, including by strengthening our support to social protection.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Earlier this year, in May, FAO and Indonesia signed an agreement to increase South-South cooperation in the field of marine affairs, fisheries and aquaculture.

And today’s Memorandum of Understanding is another example of Indonesia’s commitment to supporting other developing countries.

The BATAN-led use of nuclear techniques helped improve food security and agricultural development in Indonesia. I believe that, working together, we can have similar good results in Southeast Asia.

Thank you very much for your attention.