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Feeding people and protecting our planet should go hand in hand

FAO chief highlights the key role of Green Agriculture for sustainable development at a high-level forum in Moscow

9 October 2019, Moscow - Green agriculture has a vast potential to transform the agricultural sector in a way that enables access for everyone to nutritious food and at the same time ensures conservation of crucial natural resources, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said today.

Qu delivered his remarks at the high-profile International Agro-Industrial Forum on the sidelines of the 21st "Golden Autumn - 2019" Exhibition in Moscow.

Referring to the need to speed up the transition from the traditional agricultural practices to green agriculture, he stressed the vital role of digitalization in this process.

Qu also warned about the lack of availability and affordability of high quality food and food diversity - including a wide range of fruit and vegetables. In this context, the FAO Director-General highlighted the importance of shifting towards green production, green processing, which is "less environmentally polluting and water consuming."

"We need to reduce residues of chemicals and other polluting elements in our food," he said pointing to importance of international standards for this including the Codex Alimentarius.

In his remarks, he also underscored the need to reduce food loss and waste to avoid unnecessary waste of resources, energy and workforce. 

In order to feed 10 billion people in 2050, we need to establish good policies enabling us to produce sufficient amount of nutritious food in a sustainable manner, Qu noted.

Strengthening cooperation for sustainable development

FAO has worked with Member Countries to develop a concept of sustainability in agriculture, which rests on five key principles: improving efficiency in the use of resources; conservation and protection of natural resources; improvement of rural livelihoods and social well-being; enhanced resilience of communities and ecosystems; and responsible and effective governance mechanisms.

Addressing the forum, the FAO chief expressed his willingness to strengthen cooperation with Russia, adding that the country has achieved a huge progress in agrifood production over the past five years and that each Russian region has a competitive advantage in delivering high quality food.

He noted that having closer relations with Russia, and other Member States, including the African countries, which are in need of technical and other assistance, will eventually be a win-win situation for everyone.

"When feeding the world better, the world will become more beautiful," allowing people to lead healthier happier lives, Qu said.

About the forum

The "Golden Autumn - 2019" exhibition is the main agricultural forum held annually by the Russian Ministry of Agriculture for over 20 years. The event has enlisted 1500 businesses from 50 regions of Russian Federation. Exhibition stands and presentations will highlight best practices and success stories in the agricultural sector in Austria, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, China, Japan, etc. This year, the partner-country of the "Golden Autumn" is Serbia.

Photo: ©FAO/Anatolii Stepanov / FAO
Sunflowers are blooming in the field not far from Chernihiv town, Ukraine.