Former Director-General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries launch new Training Centre for Sustainable Family Farming

Headquartered in São Tomé and Príncipe, the new facility will help boost the CPLP’s Strategy for Food and Nutrition Security
Photo: ©FAO/...

18 July 2019, Monsanto, Portugal – FAO and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) have joined forces to boost food and nutrition security in their territories through strengthened sustainable family farming and agroecology development.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva today announced a $400 000 cooperation programme which kicks-off with the creation of a new training centre headquarted in São Tomé and Príncipe to facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity building for technicians, farmer field school instructors and family farmers, with a special focus on increasing their participation in agroecology and family farming laws.

“We will not change food systems with technology, but instead we need to make changes in laws and in research,” Graziano da Silva said. FAO is supporting the new centre as a way of “opening a window in the Green Revolution cathedral, to plant the idea that a new and more sustainable and responsible production and consumption model is possible,” he added. The Green Revolution was able to prevent famine in the 1970s, “but has reached its limits and it is time to put in place different models to tackle rising hunger and obesity that the world suffers”, he added.

The FAO Director-General spoke at the opening ceremony of the "Relevant Territories for a Sustainable World” event in Monsanto, as part of a three-day visit to Portugal.

The new training centre will also foster capacity building in sustainable production, processing and storage technologies, as well as training for improved access to markets of added-value products such as cassava, coffee, cocoa, cashew, fish, meat, dairy products and fruit and vegetables.

Family farming and agroecology practices, key for the CPLP countries

The well-being of smallholders and family farmers in the CPLP, a group of nine countries, is fundamental for social cohesion, rural development, and ecosystem preservation. 

That is why family farming and agroecology have a prominent role in the CPLP Regional Strategy for Food and Nutrition Security, adopted by its Heads of State and Government in 2012 to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition.

CPLP also countries had a fundamental role in the processes that led to the adoption of the UN Decade of Family Farming and the UN Decade of Nutrition, currently being implemented globally.

FAO has worked with the CPLP on numerous projects and programmes – and has more initiatives in the works in the areas of dietary policies, agroecology and the promotion of Globally Important Agriculture Heritage Systems –to achieve shared development goals since 1999.

About the CPLP

The Community of Portuguese - Language Countries is composed of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe, Equatorial Guinea and Timor-Leste, with a combined population of more than 285 million people.