The EU and the UN explore sustainable agriculture and fish farming at Expo Milano 2015

One of the main challenges when talking about food security and the objective of guaranteeing access to adequate, safe and nutritious food all year round for the global population, is caused by demographic growth.  To date, the world produces more food than that which is needed to feed the world, and yet 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger.  In order to feed the projected 9+ billion people who will populate the world in 2050, food production will have to increase by 60% in developed countries and 100% in developing countries.The consumption of fish has increased from 10 kg per person per year in 1960 to 20 kg in 2012, and is forseen to keep increasing as well.

Among the wide array of events promoted by the European Union at Expo Milano 2015, two events in particular try to answer the questions that this challenge poses: “The role & contribution of Europe’s Agricultural Machinery Industry in promoting sustainable agriculture and food security” and “Aquaculture in Europe: a model for the future?”

Legislators, entrepreneurs, experts from international organizations and the industrial sector met on 19 May to discuss key questions about the future of agriculture and the role of advanced machine technology in helping farmers to increase agricultural production in a sustainable manner.

The afternoon session on “Advancing food security and rural development through sustainable mechanization in Africa” was opened by Joseph Kienzle, an Agricultural Engineer from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Plant Production and Protection Division.

On 22 May, producers, researchers, NGO workers, consumers and famous chefs will look at how European aquaculture can help to meet the ever-growing demand for fish.  Among others, Alessandro Lovatelli and Kathrin Bacher from the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture department will be speaking at the event.  

This event will begin with a showcase of best practices from across Europe, which will then lead into a discussion among the participants in small groups on the different challenges faced: environmental, economic and social as well as the prospects for the future.

The event will also include a ceremony to announce the 3 winners of the “Farmed in the EU” pilot project, in which 20 European schools participated.  The aim of this project was to show the human face of a sector that is still unknown to many citizens, by having the schools students, between the ages of 12 and 18, meet local fish farmers and produce materials to explain the sector in their regions.  The three fish producers, along with the students and teachers involved in the winning projects will be present to explain what they have learned through the project. 

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