Director-General  QU Dongyu

World Food Forum: We need to empower science and innovation and open all possibilities to farmers, FAO Director-General says


Rome – We need more action on investment in science and innovation, and not just talk, QU Dongyu, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today told attendees of the session FAO Science and Innovation Strategy: What’s next, held as part of the World Food Forum’s Science and Innovation Forum.

The Director General spoke of the need for more diverse and high-quality food, and that "we need to open farmers to all possibilities" in terms of innovation and science because "it all starts with the farmers." "If we look at the demand side, we need more food, if we look at the supply side, this is very limited" Qu said. Today "67 percent of people live in cities, and in the future 1 billion people will move to cities, which means much less farmers."

“The two new thematic FAO strategies, on Science and Innovation, and on Climate Change, will be implemented in synergy and coherently,” Qu said, adding that that a more integrated dialogue between scientists, policymakers and farmers is needed.

Hans Hoogeveen, Independent Chairperson of the FAO Council joined the high-level discussion, which centered on the importance and urgency of harnessing the potential of science and innovation to overcome the challenges of agrifood systems in an equitable, inclusive, and sustainable manner.

The FAO Science and Innovation: What's Next event provided a platform for FAO Members to promote the exchange of knowledge and priorities in harnessing science and innovation through the lens of FAO’s Science and Innovation Strategy. The discussion, which saw the participation of Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives from around the world, was moderated by Ismahane Elouafi, FAO Chief Scientist, and ended with a questions-and-answers session.