News archive 2010
The First Lady of the Dominican Republic, Margarita Cedeño de Fernández has announced a mega-concert in Santo Domingo next October in support of FAO’s work in Haiti featuring some of Africa and Latin America’s top music stars.
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf has called for some of the $20 billion pledged for farmers in poor countries promised by the G-8 leaders in Italy last July to go to fund an integrated rural development programme in Haiti. FAO and the Haitian government have prepared a $721 million investment blueprint for rebooting the island nation's agricultural sector.
A significant increase in national food production, rural employment and reforestation are the keys to a greener, more productive Haiti, said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf during a four-day visit to the country to launch with the government the critical spring planting season.
FAO is asking people to lend a hand to children in Haiti by donating a fruit tree that they can plant in school yards across the country, providing an education tool for children in a country that suffers from some of the worst rates of deforestation in the world. Fruit trees were chosen because, once fully grown, they will also help improve nutrition. Just a $5 donation to the initiative buys an avocado or mango tree for a Haitian school garden.
FAO and the African Virtual University (AVU) have signed a partnership agreement aimed at widening access to education and communications technologies in developing countries. The two organizations will share educational resources and integrate FAO e-learning courses in the AVU e-campus for Development and Peace.The AVU collaborates with more than 50 partner institutions in Africa.
Nearly 5 000 West African farmers are now able to take advantage of the growing popularity of organic foods in industrialized countries, thanks to a $2.4 million German-backed FAO programme that has helped them meet certification and other requirements. The extra income they're earning is being used on food and clothing, school fees, and medical costs, improving farmer's living conditions and food security.
Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries should address the specific needs of smallholders and should encourage their participation and that of all stakeholders in the decision making process, according to an international conference held in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Germany will provide funding of more than $6 million to five FAO projects aimed at strengthening the food security of smallholders in Africa and elsewhere.
The focus of modern and conventional biotechnologies should be redirected so as to benefit poor farmers in poor countries and not only rich farmers in rich countries, FAO said.
More than a month after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January, FAO and the international humanitarian organization CARE have issued a joint alert over a national food crisis. Rural areas experiencing the highest levels of displacement from Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas are the most affected, particularly the Artibonite in the west and Grand’Anse in the south.