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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

Collaboration critical for food security in the Mediterranean

Farmers working in the fields in Gharbia Governorate, Egypt

25 February 2014, Paris/Rome – Increased collaboration between countries is key to promoting food security in the Mediterranean, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

Speaking at a side event on food security and agricultural development in the Mediterranean at the Salon International de l’Agriculture in Paris, the Director-General underlined that improved cooperation and political dialogue was essential to fight hunger across the entire region.

He also stressed that hunger is a security issue, and that food security is critical for a safe and secure future. In today’s globalized world, there is no food security if it is in one country alone, he said.

Graziano da Silva noted the particular challenges to food security in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, which include the tripling of the population in the last 40 years, increasing water scarcity and wide fluctuations in agricultural production.

He praised recent progress made by countries in the region to strengthen market information systems and coordinate responses to agricultural market volatility, noting in particular the launch this month of the Mediterranean Agricultural Markets Information Network (Med-Amin).

Med-Amin is an initiative from member states of the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) to improve market intelligence and promote market transparency in the region.

The Director-General underscored the importance of growing more with less and the need for new green technology to increase agricultural production while preserving the planet.