FAO signs agreement with dairy giant, Parmalat

Italy's largest producer of dairy products, Parmalat, has signed an agreement with FAO to work together in the fight against world hunger. Parmalat will provide 3 billion Italian lire (US$1.5 million) over three years to sponsor FAO activities aimed at reducing the number of hungry people in the world.

The agreement is part of FAO's drive to involve the private sector in the effort to meet the 1996 World Food Summit's goal - to reduce by at least half the number of hungry people in the world by the year 2015.

Parmalat will sponsor FAO activities under TeleFood - an awareness-raising campaign that uses concerts, sporting activities and fund-raising events involving public figures and celebrities. Some 500 microprojects in developing countries and countries in transition are currently being financed by the TeleFood Fund. Farm families in Cambodia,beginner beekeepers in Samoa, small-scale farmers in Honduras, watermelon growers in China and fishsellers in Burkina Faso are just some of the world's farmers, herders and fisherfolk who are benefiting from the fruits of TeleFood.

The FAO/Parmalat agreement also foresees joint missions to and activities in developing countries, combining Parmalat's technological and managerial resources with FAO technical assistance.

Full press release

14 April 2000

FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean

 A Mexican farmer works on an  irrigation canal

FAO/18610/G. Bizzarri

On April 10, FAO's Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean gets under way in Merida, Mexico. During the four-day conference, agricultural ministers from 33 countries, as well as other government officials and agricultural experts, will examine the region's most pressing agriculture and food security issues. Both Mexico's president, Ernesto Zedillo and FAO's Director-general, Jacques Diouf will address the Conference during its plenary session on 12 April.

Technical commitees are set to examine a variety of different themes during the Conference. Some of the most important of these themes are:

  • the impact of technical obstacles and non-tariff barriers on agricultural trade in Latin America and the Caribbean;
  • water as a resource for food production;
  • the effects of adverse climatological conditions on food production and trade;
  • research and transfer of technology in food production; and
  • reform of rural development institutions.

At the same time as the Conference, FAO has organized a Regional Consultation with non-governmental and civil society organizations. The purpose of this parallel consultation is to examine further the themes reviewed by the Conference's technical committees and develop a concrete plan of action for implementing FAO's new strategy for cooperation with civil society organizations.

Go to Conference papers

Go to Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

10 April 2000

Report offers hope of finding enough water to feed the hungry

As global population swells from the current figure of 6 billion to over 8 billion by the year 2030, more water will be required to produce larger quantities of food, especially in developing countries. But a new FAO online report, Crops and Drops, suggests that improvements in water efficiency will slow the rise in water requirements and help the developing world to meet this food demand.

Based on an analysis of water use in 93 developing countries, the report describes how food production can be boosted significantly by expanding irrigated cropland by about one third, while using only 12 percent more water. This will only be possible with continued improvements in water efficiency in agriculture, effectively resulting in 'more crops per drop.'

Not everything in the report is good news, however. A number of countries in Africa and the Near East face severe water scarcity that requires urgent action.

Download Advance Edition of Crops and Drops: Making the best use of land and water (in pdf)
FAO's Water Resources, Development and Management Services
The World Water Forum

10 April 2000

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.

Go to Full press release


22 march 2000

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