FAO :: Newsroom :: News stories :: 2008
News stories, 2008
As a result of upgrades to the FAO Newsroom website, all news stories published after 8 September 2008 are located on our new website. Click here to go to the new 2008 news archive and see all stories published after 8 September.
3 September 2008 – After two years of preparation and negotiation FAO Members have adopted international guidelines aimed at limiting the impact of fishing on fragile deep sea fish species and habitats.
8 September 2008 - FAO will help cash-strapped farmers in Swaziland to purchase seeds in time for the next planting season, Director-General Jacques Diouf said today. Diouf was speaking to reporters while visiting a school-based farming project in Boyane, near the capital, Mbabane.
2 September 2008 - Mr Modibo Tiémoko Traoré, a former Minister for Rural Development with the Government of Mali,is FAO's new Assistant Director-General, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department.
28 August 2008 - A month-long series of plantings is coming to an end in eastern Madagascar, aimed at ensuring that the local food supply – of rice especially – is sufficient to avoid importing large quantities at high prices to meet the country’s food needs this year.
11 August 2008 - A strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza previously not recorded in sub-Saharan Africa has been detected in Nigeria for the first time. Nigeria has recently reported two new bird flu outbreaks in the states of Katsina and Kano.
8 August 2008 - Increasingly tough climatic conditions and limited rights to land and other basic resources risk jeopardizing the lives and livelihoods of many indigenous groups that hold the key to our long term survival, FAO noted on the eve of the International Day for the World’s Indigenous People.
4 August 2008 - In readiness for the new planting season, FAO has started distributing urgently-needed seeds and tools to Haiti’s most vulnerable farmers to help them cope with the rising cost of food, fuel and fertilizer.
31 July 2008 - As part of an urgent relief effort FAO’s Peru office has provided 36 800 doses of antiparasitic medicines, antibiotics and vitamins to poor farmers in highland Peru whose livestock are suffering as a result of a severe unseasonable cold spell.
30 July 2008 - A new Regional Seed Association has been established in Ankara and will soon make quality seeds available to millions of farmers in Cedntral Asia.
29 July 2008 - The Mediterranean diet has followers all over the world – but is increasingly disregarded around the Mediterranean.
25 July 2008 - At a global conference held in Gent, Belgium, cassava scientists called for a significant increase in investment in research and development needed to boost farmers’ yields and explore promising industrial uses of cassava, including production of biofuels.
24 July 2008 – Some 100 experts from 36 countries meeting at FAO call on farmers to join the “Greener” revolution of Conservation Agriculture.
21 July 2008 – A new database on the world’s soils improves knowledge of the current and future land productivity as well as the present carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential of the world’s soils. It helps to identify land and water limitations, and assist in assessing the risks of land degradation, particularly soil erosion risks, said FAO today
17 July 2008, Rome – The Italian Development Cooperation will make an additional contribution of 14 million euros to the FAO Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety, Italian authorities have announced.
17 July 2008 – With the clock ticking on Myanmar’s main planting season, agricultural support is urgently needed to restore food production in the country’s cyclone-hit rice bowl.
16 July 2008 – With global concern growing over deforestation, loss of carbon stored in forests and the role of forests in climate change, the spotlight has been turned on forest monitoring in a bid to safeguard forests and monitor emissions from deforestation.
15 July 2008 – When one imagines an African landscape, images of rice paddies are not normally the typical scenery one conjures up. But understanding the role of rice in the recent displays of public unrest in some of the continent’s poorest countries is key to developing a sustainable, long-term solution to the crisis of high food prices.
11 July 2008– FAO is moving into the final stages of an intensive month-long distribution of millet, sorghum, maize, cowpea and peanut seeds to 33 000 farmers in the regions of Burkina Faso that have been hardest-hit by a devastating combination of soaring food prices and severe weather.
10 July 2008, Rome - Temperature and other variations resulting from climate change will have a strong impact on fisheries and aquaculture, with significant food security consequences for certain populations, FAO said this week.
9 July 2008 - FAO has just approved a series of projects in 48 countries for a total value of US$ 21 million to help small farmers and vulnerable households mitigate the negative effects of rising food and input prices. With six countries already benefiting for a total amount of nearly US$ 2.8 million, FAO’s own funding under the Initiative on soaring food prices now covers 54 countries.
8 July 2008 - The heads of the three Rome-based UN agencies call on G8 leaders to help feed the world by contributing to a new green revolution through much-increased public financing to agricultural development.
7 July 2008 - Rarely has World Food Day assumed greater meaning than at the present time, as rapidly rising food prices risk increasing the number of hungry people, notes FAO’s Chief of World Food Day events, Sidaty Aidara.
3 July 2008 - The number of hungry people increased by about 50 million in 2007 as a result of high food prices, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said addressing a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. Poor countries are feeling the serious impact of soaring food and energy prices
2 July 2008 - Land degradation is intensifying in many parts of the world according to a study using data taken over a 20-year period, FAO announced this week. An estimated 1.5 billion people, or a quarter of the world’s population, depend directly on land that is being degraded.
30 June 2008 - The agricultural sector in China's Sichuan province has suffered enormous damage estimated at around $US6 billion as a result of last month’s devastating earthquake.
26 June 2008 -- Soaring food prices could reverse the significant growth in agricultural production recorded by some of the poorest countries in Europe and Central Asia over the past 10 years, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said today.
24 June 2008 – FAO today appealed to donor countries for US$1 million to support a project designed to help developing countries deny port access to boats involved in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
19 June 2008 - Food insecurity has been exacerbated in Africa by the current rapid rise in food prices together with challenges such as climate change, greater demand for food products in emerging economies, agricultural production used for biofuels, rapid population and urbanization as well as transboundary animal and plant diseases.
17 June 2008 - Countries attending an FAO meeting on the global fish trade have endorsed a set of technical guidelines aimed at promoting responsible international trade in fish and fishery products.
13 June 2008 – Trucks loaded with more than 500 tonnes of seed left the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott today for six regional capitals, marking the beginning of FAO-supported emergency measures in the country forming part of the Organization’s Initiative on Soaring Food Prices.
12 June 2008 - Farmers’ in Southern Lebanon are receiving the first batch of 200 cows and 1 600 goats to help them recover from losses of livestock during the war in July and August 2006.
11 June 2008 - The quality of statistical information from 17 countries in sub-Saharan Africa will be dramatically increased with grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, reported FAO today.
11 June 2008 - FAO and the Government of the United Arab Emirates have signed an agreement to establish a new Subregional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council States and Yemen in Abu Dhabi.
6 June 2008 – FAO's Summit on soaring food prices has concluded with the adoption by acclamation of a declaration calling on the international commmunity to increase assistance for developing countries, in particular the least developed countries and those that are most negatively affected by high food prices.
5 June 2008 - Delegates to the Rome Food Security Summit announced their increased commitment to the fight against hunger and for agricultural development.
4 June 2008 – FAO has begun emergency activities worth US$ 17 million to respond to historically high food prices, which threaten to leave the globe’s 862 million people afflicted by hunger in an even worse situation, and push millions more people back into extreme poverty and hunger.
4 June 2008 - An unprecedented partnership among key players in agricultural development aims to significantly boost food production in Africa’s “breadbasket regions,” link local food production to food needs, and work across Africa’s major agricultural growing areas—or agro-ecological zones—to create opportunities for smallholder farmers.
3 June 2008 - At the World Food Security Summit, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf appeals to world leaders for US$30 billion a year to re-launch agriculture and de-fuse the current world food crisis and avert a looming threat of conflicts over food.
2 June 2008 - Driven by rising consumption worldwide, the international trade in fish products is expanding at a rapid pace, according to an FAO paper presented today at an intergovernmental meeting.
2 June 2008 - FAO’s World Food Security Summit in Rome on June 3-5 will be transmitted globally via the Intelsat satellite network, making Summit proceedings accessible in real time from almost any point around the globe.
29 May 2008- Agricultural commodity prices should ease from their recent record peaks but over the next 10 years they are expected to average well above their mean levels of the past decade, according to the latest Agricultural Outlook from OECD and FAO.
28 May 2008 – The upcoming High-Level Conference on World Food Security, to take place next week in Rome (3-5 June), offers a historic chance to re-launch the fight against hunger and poverty and boost agricultural production in developing countries.
Spanish soccer captain and FAO Goodwill Ambassador Raúl González was awarded the first edition Spanish prize for solidarity in sports for €30 000, which he has requested be donated to the FAO special projects fund known as TeleFood.
26 May 2008 – FAO has launched a new website offering a wide range of data and information tools on agriculture in Myanmar.
22 May 2008 - High food prices have particularly hit vulnerable populations in many countries that spend a substantial part of their income on food. FAO's latest Food Outlook indicates that the food import bill of the Low Income Food Deficit Countries is expected to reach US$169 billion in 2008, 40 percent more than in 2007.
22 May 2008 - In this Q&A interview FAO expert Grimur Valdimarsson talks about international trade in fish products, the global seafood industry, and what they mean for developing countries and the environment.
21 May 2008 - FAO Representative, Ms Maria Helena di Morais Semedo received Niger’s highest award for her distinguished service to the field of agriculture and the enrichment of the rural population in a ceremony presided over by H.E. M. Mahamane Moussa, Minister of Agricultural Development of Niger.
19 May 2008 – The humanitarian situation in Somalia is deteriorating quickly due to soaring food prices, a significantly devalued Somali shilling, and worsening drought. More than 2.6 million people, or 35 percent of the total population, are in need of assistance.
19 May 2008 - “Our planet abounds with biological richness and this great diversity is key to face the worst food crisis in modern history,” FAO Assistant Director-General Alexander Müller said urging all concerned to protect and wisely manage biodiversity for food security. His statements coincide with the opening today of a global biodiversity conference in Bonn (Germany).
16 May 2008 - A new e-learning course for professionals dealing with food control and food standards setting was unveiled at FAO this week, entitled “Enhancing participation in Codex activities”.
15 May 2008 - Mangrove forests could have reduced damage resulting from the waves caused by cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.
15 May 2008 - In a 10-point press statement, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf responds to recent criticisms of the Organization by the President of Senegal.
14 May 2008 - Just like for other tropical products, the world tea market has seen a tendency for increasing supplies to run ahead of demand growth, depressing prices and returns to producers in developing countries.
12 May 2008 - Rice production in Asia, Africa and Latin America is forecast to reach a new record level in 2008, FAO said today, warning that world rice prices could remain high in the short term, as much of the 2008 crops will only be harvested by the end of the year. The cyclone disaster in Myanmar could worsen the rice production outlook.
9 May 2008 - A network of independent intergovernmental organizations established by FAO to help developing countries improve post-harvest handling and marketing of fish projects has reached an important milestone.
9 May 2008 - FAO today called for US$10 million to assist poor farming and fishing communities in Myanmar devastated by cyclone Nargis.
5 May 2008 - FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf today welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush's request to Congress for an additional US$770 million for food aid and agriculture assistance. The funds, coupled with support from other donors, will help countries cope with high food prices and accelerate momentum towards FAO's upcoming Summit on Food Security.
29 April 2008 - Soaring food prices should not only be seen as a threat because they also represent an opportunity for a new start for agriculture in developing countries. A twin-track approach is called for -- emergency assistance to the poorest and steps to help developing world farmers take advantage of the new situation.
21 April 2008 – Rapid increases in the large-scale production of liquid biofuels in developing countries could exacerbate the marginalization of women in rural areas threatening their livelihoods, according to a new FAO study.
18 April 2008 - Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced that he has accepted an invitation from Dr. Jacques Diouf to take part in the "Summit on food security", scheduled for 3 to 5 June 2008 at the FAO headquarters in Rome.
14 April 2008 - The FAO and the Association of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) will cooperate to sensitize the public on issues related to food security and the fight against hunger.
11 April 2008 – The cereal import bill of the world’s poorest countries is forecast to rise by 56 % in 2007/2008, according to a new FAO report. This comes after a significant increase of 37 % in 2006/2007.
10 April 2008 - FAO Director-General confers Agricola Medal, FAO's highest award, on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
10 April 2008 - Extreme dry weather in several provinces of Zimbabwe is likely to cause serious damage to the main 2008 maize harvest.
9 April 2008 - Urgent measures are needed to ensure that short-term adverse effects of higher food prices do not impact even more alarmingly on the very poor, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said.
2 April 2008 - World rice production is expected to increase in 2008 by 12 million tonnes or 1.8 percent, assuming normal weather conditions. Production increases would ease the current very tight supply situation in key rice producing countries.
27 March 2008 - The World Harmony Run, expected to involve over one million people worldwide, took a running start from FAO headquarters today.
26 March 2008 - Ducks, people and rice paddies – rather than chickens – are the major factors behind outbreaks of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza in Thailand and Viet Nam.
25 March 2008 – An international conference opens in Cusco, Peru today on a crop that produces more food on less land than maize, wheat or rice.
25 March 2008 - French veterinary experts will help FAO fight transboundary and other animal diseases under a partnership agreement signed in Rome.
18 March 2008 - The prevalence of avian influenza in Indonesia remains serious despite containment efforts.
13 March 2008 - Singer and activist Miriam Makeba says women survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo face a “triple tragedy” of physical, psychological and social damage, undermining the country’s attempts to improve living conditions.
12 March 2008 – A world photography contest to highlight the role of the potato as a source of food, employment and income in developing countries was launched today.
10 March 2008 - In the context of soaring world food prices, senior government officials from Eastern Europe and the Commonealth of Independent States are meeting with executives from private agribusiness to seek ways to unlock agricultural potential across the region.
10 March 2008 - The effect of climate change on gender equality and women´s empowerment could be profound, said Iceland’s Minister of the Environment, Ms Thorunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, at an FAO event marking International Women’s Day.
7 March 2008 - The FAO-established General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean has approved a new region-wide scheme for stronger "port State" controls targeting illegal fishing.
6 March 2008 - FAO calls upon countries to participate in preparing the next Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA), the most comprehensive data collection on the state of the world’s forests.
6 March, 2008 – FAO has always set great store by the power of sport in general, and professional football in particular, as a means to mobilise political will and resources in the fight against global hunger, Dr. Diouf says.
5 March 2008 - A new and virulent wheat fungus, previously found in East Africa and Yemen, has moved to major wheat growing areas in Iran.
4 March 2008 - Increased revenues from oil exports could provide an excellent opportunity to boost public investment in agriculture in the Near East.
3 March 2008 - Agriculture in the Near East is likely to suffer losses because of high temperature, droughts, floods and soil degradation threatening the food security of many countries.
29 February 2008 – Extreme cold has devastated the Afghan livestock sector, seriously affecting livelihoods, while high prices for fuel, vegetable oil and cereals are compounding the vulnerability of poor households.
27 February 2008 - India will host the first global conference on agro-industries, to be held in New Delhi.
27 February 2008 - India is to be commended for its successful efforts to control the recent worst-ever outbreak of avian influenza.
26 February 2008 - World fertilizer production is expected to outstrip demand over the next five years.
25 February 2008 - The creation of the Global Seed Vault, which will house duplicates of unique varieties of the world’s most important crops, is “one of the most innovative and impressive acts in the service of humanity,” FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said.
25 February 2008 - FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department recently met with representatives of some of the leading companies in the seafood industry during a roundtable forum in Bremen, Germany aimed at improving information exchange and dialogue between the UN agency and the private sector.
21 February 2008 - Despite restrictions which make it hard to import essential inputs, FAO is helping restore agricultural production and improve farmers’ livelihoods in the Gaza Strip.
21 February 2008 - Heavy rains are expected to continue in the Zambezi River basin through the end of March 2008, posing an imminent risk to the lives and livelihoods of at least 1 million people in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
19 February 2008 - With over 1 400 insect species eaten by humans worldwide, the insect world offers promising possibilities both commercially and nutritionally. A workshop organized by FAO this week will discuss the potential for developing insects in the Asia and Pacific region.
18 February 2008 - “Forests play a critical role in climate change,” FAO said today during the opening day of the first-ever joint meetings between the Near East Forestry Commission and the Africa Forestry and Wildlife Commission.
18 February 2008 – “Biodiversity is vital for human survival and livelihoods; we need to conserve it for future generations,” FAO Deputy Director-General James G. Butler said today.
15 February 2008 - A large group of countries have begun discussions on how to better protect fragile deep sea fish species and habitats from irresponsible fishing practices.
14 February 2008 – In 2008, world tea prices are expected to maintain their upward trend as a result of a tight supply on the world market exacerbated by a projected 10 percent decrease in Kenyan production.
13 February 2008 -- Early prospects point to the possibility of a significant increase in world cereal production in 2008, but international prices of most cereals remain at record high levels and some are still on the increase, FAO said today.
8 February 2008 - A decision-support tool developed by FAO will help ensure that countries can enter the rapidly growing field of bioenergy industry to produce benefits for the poor without jeopardizing their food security.
31 January 2008 – Environmental and economic damages caused by the alarming loss of mangroves in many countries should be urgently addressed.
24 January 2008 – Recent avian influenza outbreaks in 15 countries demonstrate that the H5N1 virus remains a global threat.
21 January 2008 – Five new projects financed by a $10 million contribution from the Italian Government will help farmers increase output and improve efficiency.