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New metric to be launched on hunger and food insecurity
20 Mar 2013

13 March 2013, Rome - A new, faster and more precise way of measuring hunger and food insecurity across the world is soon to be field-tested by FAO in several pilot countries.

The new approach relies on gathering information on the extent and severity of hunger from food-insecure people, through a carefully-designed annual survey to be conducted in collaboration with polling specialists Gallup, Inc.

Starting this month, the new approach - known as the Voices of the Hungry project -- will be finalized in collaboration with major experts in the field and tested on a pilot basis in four countries to be...

UN lays foundations for more drought resilient societies
20 Mar 2013

Geneva, 15 March, 2013 – A top-level United Nations conference has, for the first time, laid the foundations for practical and proactive national drought policies to increase resilience to the world’s most destructive natural hazard, which is being aggravated by climate change.

The High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy marked the first globally-coordinated attempt to move towards science-based drought disaster risk reduction and break away from piecemeal and costly crisis-response, which often comes too late to avert death, displacement and destruction.

The meeting issued a declaration encouraging governments to develop and implement national drought management policies consistent with their development objectives. It...

Food and nutrition security should be the top development goal
13 Feb 2013

Rome - A global multi-stakeholder consultation to discuss the world development agenda beyond 2015 has called for  food security and nutrition to be the central element in future development efforts. New development objectives should be established for the entire global community.

The one-day consultation on Hunger, Food Security and Nutrition in the Post-2015 Development Agenda stressed that food security and nutrition represent the cornerstone for progress on other development fronts such as employment, education, the environment and health and in achieving a quality future for humankind.

The meeting, on Monday, brought together some 180 government, international organization, civil society and private sector...

Greater private sector role needed to fight hunger</div>
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30 Nov 2012

Rome –The private sector can make an important contribution to the fight against poverty and hunger, and promote sustainable food production and consumption, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today, during a meeting with private sector associations and federations.

The Director-General spoke at FAO Headquarters to participants whose associations represent more than five-thousand companies. His remarks opened the first in a series of planned dialogues on private sector involvement in poverty- and hunger-reduction initiatives.

“The private sector has an important contribution to give to FAO. But this contribution has not always been recognized or valued. This is...

Private sector is key to tackle hunger: ERBD and FAO call on agribusiness to step up investment from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean
13 Sep 2012

Istanbul, London, Rome - The fight against hunger can only be won in partnership between governments, civil society and farmer organizations and the private sector, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today at a conference with decision-makers in agribusiness on ways to improve food security by investing in agriculture from Central Asia to North Africa.

At the high-level conference in Istanbul, focused on promoting private agricultural investment and trade from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, a vast area with high potential for increased food production, but with serious...

Collaborative effort to harmonize measurement of livestock’s environmental impacts
04 Jul 2012

Rome - A new FAO-led partnership is looking to improve how the environmental impacts of the livestock industry are measured and assessed, a necessary first step in improving the sustainability of this important food production sector.

Livestock-raising and the consumption of animal products make a crucial contribution to the economic and nutritional well-being of millions of people around the world - particularly in developing countries. 

Yet, as the global consumption of meat, dairy products and eggs continues to rise, increasing attention is being paid to the livestock sector's environmental performance - such as the efficiency with which it uses scarce natural...

Private sector investing in teak: New FAO survey reveals trends in teak forests and markets
26 Mar 2012

Rome - The results of a new FAO global Teak Resources and Market Assessment conducted in 60 tropical countries show that natural teak forests are declining worldwide and that the quality of natural grown teak wood is deteriorating. On the other hand, today's survey also reveals that planted teak forests are increasing in area and — when good management practices are applied — producing high quality wood.

Natural teak forests in decline

Natural teak forests grow in only four countries in the world: India, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. In 2010 their combined area of natural teak forest was estimated at about...

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23 Feb 2012

23 February 2012, Rome - Improving agricultural data systems and boosting support to smallholder farmers in the fight against hunger emerged as key topics during discussions between Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, today at FAO headquarters.

The philanthropist and digital technology icon met with the head of the specialized UN agency, discussing ways to improve FAO's data collection systems and to develop a public, multi-agency scorecard to better measure the progress of hunger reduction. They also talked about how to boost sustainable productivity and market opportunities for smallholder farmers,...

Green investments in the marine sector can bring tide of economic and social benefits
25 Jan 2012

Manila/Nairobi - Healthy seas and coasts would pay healthy dividends in a green economy, according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WorldFish Center and GRID-Arendal, that highlights the huge potential for economic growth and poverty eradication from well-managed marine sectors.

The report, Green Economy in a Blue World, argues that the ecological health and economic productivity of marine and...

Vets go private</div>
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25 Feb 2011

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - A dramatic decline in brucellosis, a serious disease affecting both livestock and humans in this Central Asian country, is being hailed as the first major victory of the recently privatized national animal health service.

Government services in this former Soviet republic all but collapsed during a civil war in the 1990s and by 2004 brucellosis infected 8.5 percent of the country's vast sheep and goat herds. Meat and dairy production declined and people who caught the disease from consuming unpasteurized milk and cheese became debilitated with chronic fevers, muscle pains and weakness.

The situation has turned...