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 A farmer taking care of her cattle in Kurigram, Bangladesh. ©️Photo:FAO/Fahad Kaizer

FAO's Committee on Agriculture focuses on how livestock sector transformation can contribute to achieving the SDGs

28/09/2020

The agricultural sectors and livestock farming in particular must shift towards sustainability to enhance their contribution to food security, nutrition and healthy diets and build back better to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said today in his opening remarks to the 27th session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG).

A sustainable livestock sector will foster an inclusive economic growth, improve livelihoods, sustain animal health and welfare, and address environmental issues, he added.  

This is the first virtual COAG - bringing together over 120 Member Nations, partners and the public in an open online session. For this year's session, the central theme is Sustainable Livestock for SDGs.

In his address to members of the Committee, representatives of United Nations and Specialized Agencies and other delegates, the FAO Director-General highlighted the need for a holistic and inclusive approach to livestock sector policies and technical actions that includes all stakeholders within the food system. In this respect, he stressed the vital role the private sector needs to play and the importance of strong partnerships with the sector.

Noting that the combined impacts of COVID-19, its suppression measures and subsequent global recession would increase the burden for family farmers and most vulnerable people, the FAO Director-General highlighted the need for greater support and increased investment in knowledge, infrastructure and technology for sustainable agriculture.

"Our assessment suggests that the pandemic may add up to 132 million people to the ranks of undernourished in the world in 2020. This would be disastrous, particularly in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals", Qu said calling for an integrated agri-food system approach that addresses food security, livelihoods and the management of natural resources in a comprehensive and effective way.

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