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Food price transparency of extreme importance for small-holder farmers

“Information is crucial to make decisions,"Portuguese Minister says

FAO Director-General with Portugal’s Minister for Agriculture and Sea, Assunção Cristas.

7 October 2014, Rome – Good knowledge and information transparency on food commodities is of extreme importance for small-holder farmers to make decisions, Portugal’s Minister for Agriculture and Sea, Assunção Cristas, said in Rome, where she attended the Third Ministerial Meeting on Governance and International Commodity Markets.

The Minister highlighted the importance of making food commodities’ prices more transparent to allow “better options and better decisions as they have to decide what to produce”.  

Following a meeting with FAO Director-General, Minister Cristas said: “Small-holder farmers usually complain about prices and how the prices affect them. Sometimes they don’t even understand why this happens and why prices change so rapidly”

 “We believe that this is a very important topic for all the countries in the world, not only for those who produce the commodities but also for those affected by the prices and the price volatility,” she said. 

“We cannot produce everything that we need and we are very much enthusiastic about an open economy, but we believe we could be producing more than what we are producing right now,” the Minister said explaining the country’s goal “to reach balance between imports and exports by 2020 and diminish its agri-food deficit”.

Cristas described cooperation with the FAO as “extremely good” and discussed with FAO’s Director-General Portugal’s efforts to “enlarge production and productivity in a sustainable way.”

Blue Week 2015: boosting Blue Economy

Minister Cristas informed FAO Director-General about the preparations of the World Ocean Summit, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2015.  

“Focusing on boosting Blue Economy, in which fisheries, aquaculture and nutrition play a crucial role, the Blue Week will also include a high-level ministerial meeting and an international trade show,” the Minister said.

Cristas expressed hope that the FAO representation will contribute to a “highly important discussion for developing countries, small islands and maritime countries for which oceans and seas are a very good source of richness and employment”.