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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO Director-General meets Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture

“Nutrition is the key” - Akinwunni Ayo Adesina

20 November 2014, Rome – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today met with Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, His Excellency Akinwunni Ayo Adesina, who is in Rome to attend the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place this week.

The ICN2 is an inclusive inter-governmental meeting on nutrition jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The world has done quite a lot in terms of food production, so we know that food production is rising globally, but that’s not enough to ensure that people have quality and nutritious food,” said the Minister. “It’s not just the amount of calories you have, but also the amount of nutritious food that you have,” he added.  

The two main outcome documents of the conference are the Rome Declaration on Nutrition: a political commitment document, and the Framework for Action: a technical guide for implementation.

The Minister expressed his admiration of the Director General for the work he has done in Brazil, and believes that same mindset and vision has extended to Graziano da Silva’s great commitment to those in need worldwide. 

The Director General was thankful for the Nigerian Minister’s appreciation and expressed his pride in the country’s growth and achievement of their target for Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1, working towards eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

Programmes in Nigeria

The Minister highlighted Nigeria’s Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) initiative, which FAO is assisting in developing.  The initiative has been created to develop 750, 000 young commercial farmers and agri-business entrepreneurs for the country.

“These are the ones that will raise food productivity and competitiveness in Nigeria’s Agriculture,” said the Minister.

According to Graziano da Silva, Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture has shown exceptional leadership in area of agricultural business and production, adding value to its own products and emphasizing the richness of the country.

The Director General expressed his gratitude for the partnership with the Government of Nigeria, reaffirming his support in working alongside the country as it strives to elevate small farmers and achieve greater targets.