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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General meets Armenia’s Minister of Agriculture

Sergo Karapetyan refers to nutrition as “one of the most critical topics in the global affairs”

21 November 2014 - FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with Armenia’s Minister of Agriculture Sergo Karapetyan, who is in Rome to attend the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place this week.

The Minister welcomed the ICN-2 initiative and emphasised the importance of nutrition as “one of the most critical topics in the global affairs”.

He highlighted Armenia’s continued efforts to improve nutrition and food security, thereby ensuring sustainable growth of agriculture (by 8% in the past 5 years), which contributes to the 21% of the national GDP.

The Director-General hailed the ongoing effective collaboration between FAO and Armenia, which recently marked its 20th anniversary and reconfirmed FAO’s intention to further expand its activities in Armenia and other post-Soviet countries, which are in need of FAO’s technical expertise.

Support for small-scale farmers

The Minister thanked FAO for providing long-term and strong support to the Government and particularly referred to the recent successful projects on water saving technologies and the conservation and sustainable use of Grape and Apricot Genetic Resources. He also emphasized the importance of providing assistance to small scale farmers and newly established cooperatives.

The Director-General also emphasized FAO’s ongoing focus on family farming and welcomed in this context the national event organized by the Government of Armenia on 18 October 2014 to commemorate the International Year of Family Farming.

In the margins of the meeting Karapetyan said: “The government now focuses on a number of programmes, aimed at subsidizing small scale farmers and promoting cooperation with them. In particular, the government has already introduced fertilizer subsidies and imports high quality seeds for their further distribution to small scale farmers”.