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FAO Director-General urges private sector to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals

“The new 2030 agenda brings a larger mandate to FAO and your role is only greater”

14/10/2015 - 

14 October 2015, Rome - The recent adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals marks a turning point in the global community’s approach to development and calls for a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva said in his address to over 200 members of the Private Sector attending the 4th FAO private sector dialogue  in Rome.

“Most of the new 17 Sustainable Development Goals are related to FAO’s mission and bring a larger mandate to the Organization. They also bring new challenges and responsibilities to FAO and to all of us, and we need the private sector on board: your role is only greater,” he said.

FAO’s vision of a world free of hunger and malnutrition is now an international commitment, placing food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture at the heart of the 2030 agenda.

“Collaboration between the private sector and FAO is key. I think that we can achieve zero hunger only if all the different players and stakeholders work together. Today’s meeting was very useful and helped to set the way forward for future engagement and cooperation,” said Jaine Chisholm Caunt,  the newly elected Chairperson of the Private Sector Mechanism.

The FAO chief noted the need to promote inclusive growth and responsible investments that address the needs of the world’s poor and the need to build more sustainable agriculture and food systems that are better able to cope with climate change.

To that end he encouraged companies to adopt the Principles for Responsible Agricultural Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems, which show the way to maximize positive and avoid negative impacts of investments on food security and nutrition.

He also referred to the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, a set of principles that promote tenure rights and the principle of equitable access to land, fisheries and forests as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty.

Graziano da Silva noted three broad areas where private-sector efforts are critical and could be fruitful: nutrition, especially amid the global obesity epidemic; climate change and food waste; and  also in helping bolster global public goods such as data, as companies  often have information on food production and other key factors that could improve statistical collections.

Graziano da Silva also noted the celebration of the International Year of Pulses in 2016, an opportunity to promote awareness of the nutritional qualities of edible seeds such as beans and lentils as well as a better understanding of the challenges faced by pulse farmers.

Inclusive Investment in agriculture

The fourth FAO Private Sector partnerships dialogue: inclusive finance and investment models in agriculture, sought to spur different actors involved in agricultural finance and investment, both public and private, to identify modalities of collaboration which can overcome present-day challenges to agricultural investment in the developing world. It also aims to seek innovative solutions which can achieve greater development impact, improve financial governance frameworks, and provide credit and related services which can effectively fulfil the needs of rural households dependent on agriculture. 

FAO recognizes the progress made in working with the private sector and encourages the private sector to support raisng the impact at the national level for a hunger free world.

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