FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

Director General of FAO: "We can become the first Zero Hunger generation "

Prime Minister of Jamaica and the Vice-president of the Dominican Republic participated in the official opening of the FAO Regional Conference.

FAO's Director-General during the official inauguration of the Regional Conference.

March 7, 2018 - FAO's Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, participated today in the official opening of the 35th Regional Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, in Montego Bay Jamaica.

Graziano da Silva inaugurated the Conference with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, the Vice-president of the Dominican Republic, Margarita Cedeño, the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries of Jamaica, Karl Samuda and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, Hugo Martínez, in representation of the Pro-Tempore Presidency of The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC, in Spanish).

FAO’s Director-General thanked the Government of Jamaica for hosting the Conference and noted that "if we want to give people their right to adequate and nutritious food, we must address crucial issues such as climate change, migration and the sustainable use of our natural resources".

Graziano da Silva stressed that although Latin America and the Caribbean has made great strides in recent decades in terms of food security, many people still face hunger on a daily basis. "Furthermore, we have noticed an alarming increase in the rates of malnutrition, especially of overweight and obesity”.

Despite the challenges that the region faces, Graziano stressed that FAO is firmly convinced that the international community has all the necessary elements to achieve sustainable development.

"Ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030 is possible. And we can be the first generation Zero Hunger. It is the mission of the FAO to make sure that this happens, "he said.
Prime Minister of Jamaica: modernizing agriculture requires energy security
"We cannot talk about modernizing our agriculture without finding how to face the increasingly high costs of energy to produce food. Energy security is food security,” said Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Holness announced that one of his government's goals is to develop an energy ecosystem based on renewable, lower-cost energy sources, which he expects to represent 30 percent of Jamaica’s energy matrix by 2030, surpassing the current 18 percent.
"When energy costs are affordable and predictable, both farmers and entrepreneurs in the food sector, and the agri-food industry in general, are more likely to invest in other aspects of the business, such as technology," Holness said.
The Prime Minister of Jamaica stressed the importance of, "developing technological solutions to adapt our production systems, conserve energy and make more efficient the use of our marine resources, land, forests and waters".

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