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FAO aims to strengthen South-South Cooperation to support food security


22/03/2019 - 

22/03/2019

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Program (WFP) held an event to strengthen the exchange of experiences between farmers and work towards food security.

According to FAO's publication “Panorama de la Pobreza Rural en América Latina y el Caribe 2018”, one out of two rural inhabitants in the region is poor and one in five indigent. Between 2014 and 2016, rural and extreme poverty increased by 48% and 22% respectively. Alerted by this situation and with the need to advance in training efficient and sustainable agricultural sectors, the three agencies of the United Nations met to exchange successful experiences and to work together in the fight against this problem within the framework of the Second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South cooperation that takes place in Buenos Aires.

The side-event was chaired by Roberto Ridolfi, Assistant Director-General of FAO. The activity was moderated by FAO’s Officer in charge of the local office, Francisco Yofre, and counted with the participation of Claus Reiner, IFAD’s Country Director for Brazil, Jean-Pierre de Margerie, Deputy Director of Programme and Policy Division of WFP, Rafael Neves, Programme Coordinator of the 1 Million Cisterns and School Cisterns Programmes of the Brazilian Semiarid Articulation (ASA), Noel González Segura, General Director of Planning and Policies for International Development Cooperation of AMEXCID, José Francisco Zelaya, Technician of the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) and Han Jiqin, Professor of the College of Economics and Management of the Nanjing Agricultural University of China.

The side-event highlighted the importance of strengthening rural development and small farmers, key element in food production for the 821 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition worldwide and thus move towards Zero Hunger. In this sense, Ridolfi stressed that "South-South and triangular cooperation must provide tools to work on the 2030 Agenda in the field of agriculture, food security and nutrition. The interaction between farmers can make the difference but we must connect that interaction with innovation and technology. "

Of the same line was Jean-Pierre de Margerie who said that "small rural farmers and their families are among the groups most likely to be left behind. Poverty disproportionately affects the rural population, with a poverty rate three times higher than in urban areas. We need more solutions, innovation and resources to fight hunger. South-South cooperation plays a key role. "

On his side, Claus Reiner explained that "to reduce poverty in the world we must respond to the demands of farmers and poor rural populations," adding that "it is necessary to identify projects that can provide funding and mobilize resources to help small farmers to link and work in an associative way, to continue capacitating themselves as family farmers and be competitive. "

The work between the agencies strengthens South-South cooperation and allows exploring solutions to achieve sustainable rural transformation, improve agriculture, work towards the eradication of poverty, hunger and malnutrition, and to respond to the need to reduce and mitigate the effects of climate change, all central points of the 2030 Agenda.

At the side-event reference was made to several successful examples, including the exchange of experiences between bricklayers of the Dry Corridor of Eastern Guatemala and the Semiarid region of Brazil that took place last November through the joint work of FAO, the 1 Million Cisterns’ Programme and the School Cistern’s Programme of ASA. South-South and triangular cooperation are key to strengthening institutional capacities and advancing in the exchange of technical experiences and in obtaining financial resources capable of implementing them.

The side-event was attended by various representatives of the public and private sectors related to the farmers-to-farmers topic.

About BAPA + 40

The Second High-level Conference on South-South cooperation (PABA + 40) that is being held in Buenos Aires until March 22, has almost 1,500 participants from UN member states representing 193 countries. The meeting is a great opportunity to agree on common lines of work and to renew commitments in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and the resolution 33/134 of December 19, 1978, which endorses the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, and the resolution 64/222, related to the Nairobi’s Outcome document of the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South cooperation.