Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018

FAO calls for action on price volatility on World Food Day


(ANSA) - Rome, October 16 - The Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) marked World Food Day Tuesday by calling on
international leaders to combat the commodity-price volatility
that has contributed to pushing thousands into hunger in recent
"Food prices and volatility have increased in recent years.
This is expected to continue in the medium term," said Jose'
Graziano da Silva, the director-general of the Rome-based United
Nations agency.
"In this context, it is important to improve governance of
food security. In the globalized world we live in, it's not
possible to have food security in one country alone," da Silva
told a meeting attended by ministers from 20 different
Da Silva has urged nations to step up efforts to achieve
the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) of cutting the proportion
of people suffering hunger by half its 1990 level by 2015,
saying it was still possible to hit this target.
The FAO says that over one billion people were
undernourished in 1990. This has been cut by 132 million, with
FAO estimating that 870 million people are hungry today.
However, these numbers do not give a full picture of the
progress made in combatting hunger as they do not account for
the big expansion of the world's population over the last two
Progress looks more impressive when the number of hungry
people is considered in relation to the overall global
Indeed, the proportion of the hungry in the developing
world, where most undernourished people are, has fallen from
23.2% in 1990 to 14.9% today.
In order to the achieve the hunger MDG it will be necessary
to bring that figure down to 11.6% over the next three years.
Da Silva stressed, however, that this would only be a step
towards attaining the overall goal of eliminating hunger
"As we renew and increase our commitment to reach the
Millennium Development Goal for hunger reduction, let's look
beyond it, towards the total eradication of hunger because, when
it comes to hunger, the only acceptable number is zero," da
Silva said.
The FAO used World Food Day to highlight the role
agricultural cooperatives can play in fighting hunger.
It said these cooperatives were already improving the lives
of millions of small-scale farmers, alleviating poverty and
undernourishment among the rural poor by helping them access
tools, seeds and markets.
It argued that these cooperatives could do even more if
they were given the right support by governments, civil society
and academia.
Pope Benedict XVI backed the FAO's message.
"Agricultural cooperatives have an alternative vision to
those economic models that seem to have as their only goals,
profit, the interests of the markets, the use of food crops for
non-food purposes and the introduction of new food production
technologies without the necessary precautions," the pope said
in a statement for World Food Day.
"The presence of cooperatives can put an end to the trend
of speculation in essential food commodities intended for human
consumption, and reduce the large-scale acquisition of arable
lands that in many regions forces farmers off their land because
by themselves they are too weak to defend their rights".

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