Rome, Oct 1. -FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva has highlighted the importance to advance Agenda 2030 from a turning point in agriculture and the food production system.
To achieve sustainable development we cannot continue relying on resource-intensive systems which operate at very high and unsustainable costs to the environment, Da Silva said on the opening day of the 26th session of the Committee on Agriculture of FAO.
Despite providing the necessary food, agriculture also generates deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and a high level of greenhouse gas emissions, Da Silva explained, pointing to the need to produce food in ways which we preserve environment and biodiversity.
Doing things as we did before is no longer an option, he added, calling for the use of practices that provide healthy and nutritious food, as well as reducing the use of pesticides and chemicals, increasing crop diversification and improving conservation practices.
All of this will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the agricultural sectors, which currently account for 20 percent of total emissions, he argued.
He also said that current systems are inefficient in eradicating hunger, despite producing more than enough food to feed the world's population.
It's about increasing production, but at the same time ensuring that all people have access to healthy and nutritious food, he pointed out.
Da Silva recalled that hundreds of millions of people still lack the income to buy the food they need, or the means to produce it themselves, and stressed that last year there were 821 million undernourished, figure that reflects the growth for the third consecutive year.
An important part of these chronically undernourished individuals, he warned,there are subsistence farmers living in poor rural areas of developing countries, who need support to improve their lives and build resilience to conflict and climate change.
FAO, he noted, is acting on many fronts to help countries promote these much-needed transformations in agricultural and food systems. (Taken from Prensa Latina)