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Agriculture Ministers show support for FAO initiative

05/11/2017 Port Vila, Vanuatu

Global agricultural leaders gathered for the inaugural Pacific Week of Agriculture (PWA 2017) in Port Vila, Vanuatu from 16 to 20 October. The Government of Vanuatu hosted the one-week event in partnership with the Pacific Community (SPC) and FAO.

FAO’s Global Action Programme on Food Security and Nutrition in Small Island States (GAP) received support from Ministers who attended the GAP side event held during the Pacific Week of Agriculture in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The side event was hosted by FAO and was attended by Ministers of Agriculture from Cook lslands, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands. Other attendees included important technical partners, the private sector and country representatives.

Solomon Islands Minister for Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. Duddley Kopu opened the side event, explaining the plight of food and nutrition insecurity in small island states, like Solomon Islands, and the need to take action.

Minister Kopu was joined by representatives from various technical agencies to take part in a panel discussion covering trends in food and nutrition in the region, the heavy or so called “triple burden” of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the costs that they place on Pacific Islands Countries, the causes of this trend, and the actions which can be taken to avert this crisis through the GAP and the Pacific regional framework.

Cook Islands Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Kiriau Turepu acknowledged the importance of increasing public awareness of healthier, alternative food choices that would benefit from substantially more visibility. Such action he said could help counteract the wide-spread advertising of unhealthy products carried out by the private sector in media around the Pacific.

Kiribati Minister for Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development, Hon. Alexander Teabo readily supported the GAP, also emphasizing the value that the programme will bring to the region in tackling the problem of NCDs.

The side event was held at the recently constructed National Convention Centre.

About GAP
SIDs’ leaders launched the GAP – the Global Action Programme on Food Security and Nutrition in Small Island States — a framework for accelerated and coordinated efforts involving all the various players from government to the private sector in achieving long-term food security and nutrition through sustainable development.

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