Director-General  QU Dongyu
A statement by FAO Director-General QU Dongyu

1st FAO Roundtable Forum on “Sustainable Seed Systems Management”

Opening Remarks

By

Dr QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General

8 December 2022

 

Excellences,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Colleagues,

1.         Today’s Forum is an important milestone for the seed sector.

 

2.         It builds on the Global Conference on the Green Development of Seed Industries organized by FAO last year.

 

3.         Agrifood systems currently face a number of challenges mainly due to:

•          the depletion of natural resources,

•          environmental degradation,

•          environmental pollution,

•          the climate crisis, and

•          ongoing conflicts and humanitarian emergencies around the world.

 

4.         It is estimated that by 2050, the world’s population will reach almost 10 billion.

 

5.         To feed this growing population of middle income consumers, we will need to produce 50% more food than we did 10 years ago.

 

6.         Clearly, Better Production is fundamental to addressing these challenges.

 

7.         Better Production starts from better seeds.

 

8.         We cannot have good crops if we do not have quality seeds.

 

9.         They are the foundation of human food security and nutrition, and are an important bridge from biodiversity to food diversity.

 

10.       However, it is not enough to just have quality seeds.  Seeds must be affordable and accessible to farmers.

 

11.       Last year’s Global Conference shed light on this and a wide range of important issues.

 

12.       The seed industry has played and will continue to play an important role in the co-creation of technologies together with farmers.

 

13.       But, government policies must also be in place to strengthen the seed value chain and to create an enabling environment where everyone benefits.

 

14.       We need to further strengthen cooperation at global and regional levels to facilitate access to resources and knowledge, through strengthened R&D.

 

15.       And scientific research and innovation will continue to drive the improvement of crop varieties.

 

16.       To ensure they are nutrient rich, pest- and disease-resistant, and resilient under harsh climatic conditions and stressed environment.

 

Dear Friends,

 

17.       Today’s event is a call to action for all of us.  

 

18.       We need to move from planning to implementation, for real change and impact.

 

19.       We need to keep the conversation going on seed systems and on how to make them more sustainable and more deliverable.

 

20.       Following the conference in 2021, stakeholders requested FAO to establish a mechanism - a neutral professional platform - to continue building on its momentum.

 

21.       This 1st Roundtable Forum is in response to that call.

 

22.       Today’s Forum has 3 key objectives:

•          One: Continue to raise awareness on the importance of quality seeds for food security and nutrition;

 

•          Two: Launch of the 10 Recommendations arising from the conference on Strategic Actions for the Green Development of Global Seed Industries; and

 

•          Three: Provide a platform for discussions on priority activities and next steps for implementation of the conference recommendations.

 

23.       Let us continue to be engaged and committed to supporting this important work, together.

 

24.       In support of the transformation of our global agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient and more sustainable,

 

25.       To achieve our common goal of the Four Betters: Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for all – leaving no one behind.

 

26.       Let’s sow the seeds first, then through our nurturing we can ensure a bumper harvest!

 

27.       Thank you.

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