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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General welcomes new Deputy Director-General of the IAEA

Agencies discuss enhanced potential of nuclear sciences for food and agriculture

FAO Director-General and IAEA's Deputy Director-General in Rome.

21 October 2014, Rome - FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva today met the new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Director General and Head of Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, Aldo Malavasi.

The IAEA is the world’s center of cooperation in the nuclear field.

Da Silva and Malavasi discussed the successful cooperation through the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture. Nuclear techniques are widely used in a number of areas, including food safety, soils and water management, crop protection and insect pest control.

Amongst others, the Joint FAO/IAEA division supports about 35 sterile insect technique field projects around the world.

The Sterile Insect Technique is a form of pest control that uses radiation to sterilize male flies that are mass-produced in special rearing facilities. The sterile males are released systematically by air on a sustained and area-wide basis over tsetse-infested areas, where they mate with wild females. These do not produce offspring and, as a result, this technique can eventually eradicate populations of wild flies.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the joint division, created with the mission to support and promote the safe and appropriate use of nuclear and related technologies by the FAO/IAEA Member States in food and agriculture, with the aim to contribute to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world, especially to global food security and sustainable agricultural development.