News archive 2011
Whilst changing climatic conditions may be exacerbating the growing number of mega-fires round the world, these fires may also themselves be a contributing factor to global warming, said FAO. The agency called upon countries to implement more comprehensive fire management strategies and improve the monitoring of wildfire carbon gas emissions that cause global warming.
Food prices remained virtually steady in April after falling in March following eight months of successive increases, according to FAO's latest Food Price Index, released today. The Index averaged 232 points last month, 36 percent above April 2010 and two percent below its peak in February 2011.
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf has advised Central Asian nations to work together in order to combat the negative effects of volatile food prices and a changing climate. Last year many countries in the region suffered an unprecedented drought hitting crop production.
FAO is supporting the creation of a network of seed testing laboratories in Africa that will cover indigenous African crops important for the food security of millions.
Eliminating the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus from poultry in the six countries where it remains endemic will take ten or more years, according to a new FAO report. The report makes specific recommendations for each country regarding measures that should be taken over the next five years to move them towards virus elimination.
Having already negatively impacted the harvest period that ended in January, the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire is now threatening the planting season that is about to start. FAO is moving to procure seed kits for smallholder farmers.
FAO and WFP have launched a food security platform to improve the coordination of food security responses in humanitarian crises. The Food Security Cluster is based in Rome. The global support team includes FAO, WFP, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other humanitarian organizations.
FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf has appointed Manoj Juneja, a citizen of India, as one of the organization's two Deputy Directors-General. The FAO Council has endorsed the appointment.
Two-thirds of Sierra Leone's population depends on agriculture, while some 70 percent lives below the poverty line. By encouraging farmers to "farm for business", Sierra Leone hopes to lift annual agricultural growth to the 7.7 percent needed to halve poverty and hunger by 2015. To achieve this, the government is working with FAO and other partners.
The FAO Food Price Index has dropped for the first time after eight months of continuous price spikes. The Index averaged 230 points in March 2011, down 2.9 percent from its peak in February. But it is still 37 percent above March of last year and FAO economists say it would be premature to conclude that this is a reversal of the upward trend.