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FAO and the Mozambique Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security present situation of food security in the country after MDG1 award

Mozambique was one of the countries achieving MDG1
24/06/2015

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Mozambique Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) on Wednesday (24/06) held a joint press conference to inform the country's media about the MDG1 award recently given to Mozambique.

Mozambique was one of the countries awarded last 7 June by the three Rome-based UN agencies – FAO, IFAD and WFP – for having achieved the MDG 1 target of halving the proportion of people suffering from hunger until 2015. The prevalence of undernutrition in Mozambique declined from 56,1 percent in 1990-92 to 24 percent in 2014-16.

"We have achieved the target of halving the proportion of the hungry in our country by adopting policies, strategies and projects in the agricultural and fisheries sectors, among others", the Mozambique Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, José Pacheco, said at the press conference. He reminded that "Mozambique managed to increase the production of cereals by 13,9 percent, legumes by 36 percent and roots by 7,6 percent. All these numbers are above the target of 7 percent we had established".

According to annual report on world hunger of the UN (The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015 – SOFI), besides having achieved the hunger target of MDG1, Mozambique also made some progress regarding the targets of the 1996 World Food Summit, when the world governments committed themselves to halve the absolute number of people suffering from hunger until 2015.

Quoting from SOFI 2015, FAO Representative in Mozambique, Castro Camarada, recalled that "today the world has 795 million people affected by hunger, which means that one out of nine people still suffers from hunger worldwide". In Mozambique also, Camarada continued, "the high levels of poverty (54,7 percent) still negatively affect the situation of food security and nutrition and partly contribute to high levels of food insecurity (24 percent of the population) and chronic undernutrition (43 percent of children under five)".

Therefore, FAO Representative said, the recognition "also helps to encourage Mozambique to do more and better, since there are still challenges in the country". Among others, Camarada mentioned the need to increase the levels of agricultural productivity and production (which are still far from the national potential), to improve the access to markets and technical assistance to farmers as well as to diversify diets and food consumption in several regions of the country.

Similarly, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, José Pacheco, stated that the situation of food security in Mozambique "is still a challenge and the country has to keep fighting hunger".

José Pacheco represented Mozambique at the award ceremony, which took place during the 39th FAO Conference held earlier this month in Rome, Italy, where he reiterated the importance of agriculture as social and economic basis of the country, saying that the sector will be a priority of President Filipe Nyusi's government.

Beside Mozambique, other 71 countries reached the MDG1c. 2015 marks the end of the monitoring period of the MDGs. Soon these will be replaced by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). One of the targets of the new goals is the total eradication of hunger, the improvement of nutrition and the promotion of sustainable agriculture.