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Canada and FAO strengthen their partnership by bolstering food safety and innovative technologies for sustainable agriculture


Canada is one of FAO’s key resource partners in the fight to end hunger

10/10/2017 - 

Canada is one of FAO’s key resource partners in the fight to end hunger. In 2016, it was one of the organization’s top ten contributors. Canada’s assistance has strongly focused on three priority areas: increasing food security, stimulating sustainable economic growth, and securing the future of children and youth, which are well aligned with FAO’s strategic objectives. In January 2017, during the G20 meeting of agriculture ministers in Berlin, Canada emphasized its full support to fostering sustainability and advancing innovation to bolster food security.

As a result, since the start of 2017 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), the government department responsible for agriculture policy,  and FAO have signed five agreements for a total contribution of CAD983 000. Through these contributions, Canada is joining other resource partners in supporting: the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), to contribute to enhancing food market transparency and policy response for food security; the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) Partnership, to improve the environmental performance of the livestock sector in order to ensure its sustainable development; and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), to develop international standards for fair and transparent trade environments.

AAFC is also supporting the organization of key FAO/World Health Organization (WHO) joint meetings on pesticide residues, nutrition and microbiological risk assessment, enhancing FAO’s capacity to provide timely and independent scientific advice to the Codex Alimentarius Commission on food safety standards.

“Support from FAO members is critical to ensure the sustainability of FAO’s scientific advice programme,” says Dr Ren Wang, FAO Assistant Director-General, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection. “The standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission depend on the availability of the scientific advice and risk assessments delivered, in most cases, jointly with WHO. Canada’s contributions, both financial and in-kind, are critical to the success of the programme.”

Canada recognizes FAO’s role in disseminating scientific information on innovative agricultural technologies and supporting science-based policy and regulatory frameworks to enable countries to benefit from these technologies. To this effect, another contribution will be channelled to the planning and organization of two regional consultations on agricultural biotechnologies.

About the FAO-Canada long-standing collaboration

Canada’s and FAO’s long-lasting partnership is built on their efforts to bolster food security and sustainable agriculture. In fact, a characteristic of Canada’s support is its emergency contributions which have allowed FAO to rapidly respond to agricultural threats caused by natural disasters or post-conflict situations in countries like Sri Lanka and South Sudan, by helping farmers, pastoralists and fishers to get back on their feet while working to ensure long-term food and nutrition security. Improving women’s access to training, services and markets is also a key aspect of projects funded by Canada.

Since 2008, the former Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) – now part of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development – has been FAO’s most dedicated resource partner in helping communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) to build a more food-secure future, addressing major challenges such as the lack of access to natural resources, agricultural inputs and livelihood opportunities. Furthermore, CANADEM (Canada's national roster of civilian experts) has provided staff resources for FAO’s emergency activities through a standby agreement.