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Texas A&M University System joins forces with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

25/07/2014 - 

Rome-The Texas A&M University System and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today agreed to work together to combat world hunger by building capacity for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in developing countries.

Under the new agreement, the Texas A&M System and FAO will carry out initiatives to strengthen agricultural production innovations, land and water management practices, and plant and animal health in order to improve food security. In addition, they will work on building resilience and improving value chain management to help promote economic stability and improve livelihoods for small-holder farming communities. The cooperation will be at country, regional and global levels as mutually agreed.

“Our history is rooted in a deep connection between farmers and the land on which they farm,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “Today, farming and ranching have changed considerably and our scope has expanded, but our commitment has not. I applaud our leadership in focusing on value chain management as the key to improving both supply and security of food for communities around the world.”

The partnership is an opportunity to leverage the strengths of both entities, allowing collaboration on matters of common interest.

“Our organizations share a common interest in enhanced global and local actions to achieve food security, enable sustainable livelihoods and sustainably manage natural resources; and we agree that interdisciplinary solutions, innovations and sharing of technological and scientific advances are necessary. Hunger cannot be defeated by any organization or entity on its own. We recognise that through strategic partnerships, we can support Member countries more effectively in eliminating hunger” said FAO Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo.

Semedo signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Craig Nessler, Director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, on behalf of the Texas A&M System, at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Tammy Beckham, Director of the Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases (IIAD), a Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Center of Excellence, also attended the signing.

The Texas A&M System, which is headquartered in College Station, Texas, is one of the largest systems of higher education in the U.S., with a statewide network of eleven universities and seven specialized agencies including: the Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, and the Texas A&M Forest Service. Institutes under these agencies include: IIAD, the Institute for Plant Genomics and Biotechnology, the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources and the Normal Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. The A&M System educates more than 131,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year.