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Director-General  José Graziano da Silva
A statement by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva
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31 May 2017

2017 Special Meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council

Thank you for the opportunity to provide an address at the start of this important Special Meeting of the Economic and Social Council as I am unable to join you in person today.

Let me start by commending Ambassador Shava for this excellent initiative to increase awareness of the critical role of agribusiness and agro-industry development in ensuring sustainable and resilient agricultural and food systems.    

Agro-industry development is fundamental not only in the achievement of SDG9 on sustainable industrialization, but also contribute to several other SDGs, including those related to poverty eradication, to hunger, malnutrition and sustainable agriculture. Agro-industrialization, for instance, can substantially reduce food loss as processed products can be more easily stored for longer periods.

The successful meeting held in Victoria Falls last month identified a number of critical constraints to agroindustry development. These include inadequate market infrastructure, limited access to agricultural finance and risk management products, limited skills of value chain actors, lack of coordination of activities throughout the system, and difficult access to export markets.

FAO will continue to support ECOSOC in taking forward the outcomes of the Victoria Falls meeting. This includes supporting the implementation of the Accelerated Agriculture and Agro-Industry Development Initiative Plus (3ADI+).

3ADI+ is designed to provide the technical know-how and capacity development required to leverage coordinated public and private sector investment.  This initiative will strengthen existing activities of FAO and will enhance collaboration with our key partners, particularly UNIDO and IFAD.

I thank you and wish you a productive meeting.