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Director-General  José Graziano da Silva

Meeting with Nadine Heredia, First Lady of Peru and Special Ambassador for the International Year of Quinoa

First Lady highlights the importance of sustainable food systems for a healthy population

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva meeting with First Lady of Peru, Ms Nadine Heredia. FAO headquarters.

16 October 2013, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva held a meeting at FAO headquarters with FAO Special Ambassador for the International Year of Quinoa and First Lady of Peru, Nadine Heredia.

The First Lady was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony of World Food Day, which took place this morning at the Organization’s headquarters. The event was attended by Graziano da Silva, the Minister of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry of the Italian Republic, Nunzia de Girolamo, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo Nwanze and the Executive Director of World Food Programme (WFP), Ertharin Cousin. Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO, also read a message from Pope Francis.

In her speech, the First Lady referred to the World Food Day’s theme for this year, which "reminds us of the importance of sustainable food systems for a healthy population."

The First Lady and the Director-General discussed the impact of the International Year of Quinoa. The First Lady stressed that this commemoration served "not only as a launching pad to publicize quinoa, but also to highlight the work of farmers while giving value to other Andean grains and agricultural technologies."

The First Lady thanked FAO for its support to all activities carried out within the framework of the year. She invited the Director-General to see non-traditional quinoa growing when he visits Peru for  the year’s closing ceremony on 16 December.

Tomorrow, at the Organization’s headquarters, the two will participate in a symbolic harvesting of quinoa.

During the World Food Day ceremony, the First Lady also referred to food security policies that are being carried out in Peru. She highlighted the need to move from assisting people to helping them become self-sufficient. The First Lady has requested FAO’s technical assistance in the promotion of better farming practices in Peru.

This year Peru is observing the Year of Rural Development and Food Security, including a programme called Farm Entrepreneurship.

The First Lady expressed her interest in becoming involved in the International Year of Family Farming 2014 and stressed the importance of gender issues in agriculture.

Watch a video interview with the First Lady of Peru, Ms Nadine Heredia