Crop Biotech Update

FAO DG Qu Dongyu: It's Time to Transform Agrifood Systems

May 25, 2022
FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu addressing the “Global Food Security Call to Action” ministerial meeting at the United Nations in New York. Photo Source: ©FAO/Timothy A. Clary

During the Global Food Security Ministerial meeting held at the United Nations in New York entitled “Global Food Security Call to Action” on May 18, 2022, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, made an urgent call to action for the transformation of agrifood systems, to make them more inclusive, economically viable and resilient to multiple shocks, as well as to produce better and more with less negative impact on the environment.

Qu noted that in March 2022, the FAO Food Price Index reached its highest level since its inception in 1990 and warned that the cascading impact of the war in Ukraine could further exacerbate global food prices since Russia and Ukraine are dominant players in highly concentrated global grain markets. “Time is short, and the situation is dire,” Qu said and outlined the path to a successful transformation of agrifood systems:

  1. Scale-up emergency agricultural assistance.
  2. Invest in hard infrastructure (roads, irrigation, electrification, and digital) and value chain infrastructure (storage facilities, cooling facilities, banking infrastructure, and insurance infrastructure).
  3. Prioritize science and innovation.
  4. Reduce food loss and waste.

The ministerial meeting brought together foreign ministers from around 30 regionally diverse countries to review the urgent humanitarian and development needs and identify steps to address global food security, nutrition, and resilience. It was chaired by the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken.

For more details, read the news article in the FAO Newsroom.

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