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FAO Director-General and Pakistan’s President discuss ways to promote agricultural modernisation and rural development

15/02/2020

15 February, 2020, Islamabad – FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and President of Pakistan Arif Alvi discussed ways to promote agricultural modernisation and rural development with the aim of transforming the country’s agri-food systems and accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The meeting took place today as part of the Director-General’s three-day official visit to Pakistan. During the meeting, Qu thanked the President for his strong support to the FAO Country Office and its initiatives. Both parties agreed on the need to step up joint efforts to achieve the SDGs and ensure that no one is left behind.   

Qu also met today Khusro Bakhtiar, Pakistan's Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research. The parties signed a $500,000 Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) project to make FAO’s know-how and technical expertise available to national experts to strengthen their capacities to combat the desert locust infestation in the region and improve locust management.

During the meeting, the Director-General reiterated FAO’s commitment to provide critical support in addressing the cold wave and locust emergencies in Pakistan. “FAO is committed to the long-standing collaboration with the Ministry”, he said.

Today, Qu also held talks with the Parliament of Pakistani’s Special Committee on Agriculture, focusing on ways to achieve the SDGs, and develop solutions to implement innovation in food systems and facilitate rural revitalization. These measures should be inclusive and benefit, first of all, women and youth in rural areas, the participants stressed.

On the second day of his official visit, Qu was taken on a tour of the FAO Representation Office in Pakistan. The Director-General lauded all staff members for their strong commitment to FAO’s work and their valuable contribution to the SDGs by targeting the poorest and most vulnerable populations across all provinces of Pakistan.

Qu noted that, thanks to the close collaboration between the FAO team, the government, academia and the private sector while working on important initiatives on the ground, smallholder farmers and their families can now reap concrete benefits from these operations such as improved livelihoods and resilience to climate change.

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