Director-General  QU Dongyu

In Paraguay, Director-General meets President, national and local authorities, private sector representatives and fishers


Asuncion – After being received by the President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez, at Palacio de Lopez, the FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, met with other Paraguayan authorities and visited a small village near the capital Asuncion where he interacted with fisher folks whose livelihoods depend on the Paraguay River.  

President Mario Abdo expressed satisfaction with FAO’s work in Paraguay in a time of simultaneous crises. He noted that, despite this negative scenario, Paraguay has been able to reduce extreme poverty in recent years. The President also noted that economic growth momentum is strong in the country, and said that FAO, in close coordination with the Ministry for Agriculture, could provide support to expand the country’s programmes in several areas linked to food and agriculture.

The Director-General complimented the President for the progress made by Paraguay during these challenging times, but noted there was still a lot of work to do, and in this regard highlighted Paraguay’s capacity to drive environmental programmes, including through funding from the Green Climate Fund. Qu emphasized the need to focus on sustainable production and noted that FAO is ready, through the Hand-in-Hand Initiative, to help the country design an investment plan to transform agrifood systems.

At Palacio de Lopez, the Director-General accompanied President Abdo in a ceremony to deliver vehicles and firefighting equipment to the National Forestry Institution (INFONA), created to manage, promote and develop the country's forest resources.

Qu also had a bilateral meeting with the First Lady of Paraguay, Silvana Lopez, who was accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julio Cesar Arriola Ramirez. The Director-General congratulated the First Lady for leading efforts targeting malnutrition in the country, particularly by promoting regulation of the Law on Public Policies for Rural Women, in coordination with FAO and the Ministry of Women.

In the meeting, the First Lady also noted the launch of the Kuna Katupyry Initiative, a line of microcredits targeting more than 6 000 rural women entrepreneurs with a view to diversifying family farming products.


The Director-General was also received by Senator Blanca Ovelar, President of the Parliamentary Front Against Hunger in Paraguay. She was accompanied by Senator Esperanza Martínez and Congresswoman Kattya González. They highlighted their commitment to the adoption of laws that guarantee the human right to food, fight hunger and malnutrition, and improve the livelihoods of family farmers.

The Director-General highlighted four key points  needed to achieve those objectives, and to transform agrifood systems: i) strong political commitment; ii) enabling policies and regulations; iii) increased investments; and iv) innovation.

Field Trip

In his one-day visit to Paraguay, the Director-General also visited the small town of Villeta, where he was received by Mayor Teodosio Gomez. Three mayors from the nearby cities Villa Oliva (Eusebia Ramona Musa), Pilar (Fernando Ramirez) and Alberdi (Nicolas Sotelo) also participated in the meeting.

The Director-General congratulated the mayors for their cooperation in promoting the Corredor del Rio Initiative – a concrete example of the Hand-in-Hand approach applied in Paraguay. Targeting 80 000 inhabitants, the Corredor de Rio Initiative aims to develop the tourism and fishing sectors, the industrial potential, and the cultural patrimony, of the four municipalities plus Villa Franca.

After meeting the mayors, Qu visited a fishing community on the banks of the Paraguay River in Villeta, where he interacted with fisher folks, exchanged ideas and tasted some of the local products.

Private Sector

While in Asuncion, the Director-General also had a meeting with several representatives of the private sector during which they exchanged perspectives on the role of the private sector in the transformation of agrifood systems. Qu stressed the potential of the Hand-in-Hand Initiative and noted that the World Food Forum offers a great platform for the promotion of products, technologies and innovation.