Leading pest control scientist dies

FAO has paid tribute to a leading American scientist in pest control, Edward F. Knipling, who died aged 91 on 17 March.

"Dr Knipling was not only a scientist, but also a philanthropist and a man committed to the search for solutions to the problems faced by poor farmers in the developing world," FAO senior officer in insect pest management, Jan Slingenbergh said.

Dr Knipling made a major contribution to agricultural pest management, by introducing the principles of area-wide pest management. Together with R. C. Bushland, he invented the Sterile Insect Technique which was used to eradicate the screwworm fly in Africa, Mexico and the United States. The technique has also been used to control the Mediterranean and other fruit flies in California, Florida and to eradicate the tsetse fly on the island of Zanzibar.

28 March 2000

Full Press Release
Tsetse fly eradicated on the Island of Zanzibar
The Sterile Insect Technique
Joint FAO/IAEA Programme: Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture Insect and Pest Control

FAO launches study on tobacco economy

Brazil: a tobacco processing cooperative
FAO/G. Bizzarri/18197 (above) and 18198 (below)

A joint study on the impact of government policies on the world tobacco economy has been launched by FAO. The work will provide detailed information on the economic and social factors that affect tobacco production and consumption. It will focus initially on a small group of countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 4 million people die every year from tobacco-related illnesses. By 2030, this figure is expected to have risen to 10 million, with 70 percent of those deaths occurring in developing countries. Despite the health concerns about tobacco use, cultivation and manufacturing of tobacco products continue to grow.

The Swedish International Development Agency and FAO are together contributing US$ 250 000 to the study, and WHO, the World Bank, the International Labour Organization and national agencies will also cooperate.

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FAO Regional Conference for the Near East

Sustainable agricultural development, animal health and household food security are among the items that will be discussed at the 25th FAO Regional Conference for the Near East. The Conference takes place in Beirut, Lebanon, from 20 to 24 March. More than 30 FAO member countries from the Near East region will participate.


Jordan: Farmer broadcasting seed by hand FAO/14600/F.Boot

A key topic of the conference will be the establishment of an Animal Health Forum for the Near East. Animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, rinderpest and brucellosis are still present, and the objective for the Forum will be to promote trade in healthy animals by fighting the diseases on governmental, scientific and practical levels.

FAO will also be presenting a strategic framework for sustainable agricultural development. Its purpose will be to call attention to subjects such as desertification, rural poverty, pollution, water scaricty and the region's large food deficits. Today almost a third of the region's cereal requirements has to be imported and the food deficit is expected to increase at an annual average rate of 2.9 per cent throughout the region. It could worsen further, depending on grain prices and food aid shipments. In addition, there is simply not enough water for expanding irrigated agriculture to meet the rising food needs in the region, despite substantial scope for greater efficiency in water use.

Participants in the Regional Conference will in addition discuss the follow-up to the World Food Summit and the potential effects of the WTO Multilateral Trade Negotiations in Agriculture on the region.

Go to Conference Papers
Go to Towards a strategic framework for sustainable agricultural development in the Near East

17 March 2000

Food security in an expanding population: New FAO publication looks at the issues

Will we be able to produce enough food to feed to the world's growing population in the next century? The answer is yes, says a new FAO publication, Une voie étroite pour la sécurité alimentaire d'ici à 2050. However, strong political will is needed and difficult political decisions must be made based on sound technical analysis. The goal of the new book is to trace a potential path to global food security.

Written by Philippe Collomb, an agricultural engineer, and published in conjunction with the French publishing house Economica, it seeks to examine the technical problems that population growth poses to food production and clarify options to deal with them.

The world's population has reached 6 billion and is expected to grow to 9 billion by 2050. The number of undernourished stands at more than 800 million. With population growth continuing to put pressure on food supplies, it is clear that finding the path to food security will not be easy.

Collomb expands on ideas presented in "Food requirements and population growth," the fourth in a series of FAO technical documents prepared for the 1996 World Food Summit. The first two chapters of Collomb's book review the lessons learned from past demographic/food supply analyses and offer projections for the next 50 years. Subsequent chapters identify the different elements that figure into strategies for reducing hunger and provide an overview of population/food supply situations on a country level, giving particular attention to Africa, where food supply problems will continue to be the most severe.

Une voie étroite pour la sécurité alimentaire d'ici à 2050 is available only in French and can be ordered through the Sales and Marketing Group, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy; by fax at +39 (06) 5705 3360; or by email at publications-sales@fao.org

Go to the executive summary of "Food requirements and population growth"
Go to the complete text of "Food requirements and population growth"
For more information on the World Food Summit
To order go to Sales and Marketing Group

1 March 2000

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