Biotech Updates

A Call to G8 to Invest in Agriculture for Highest Payback

June 18, 2009

In the midst of the current financial crisis, the G8 Development Ministers convened an outreach session in Rome where representatives of African countries and United Nations (UN) agencies discussed the problems of development. Heads of UN agencies including Emile Frison of Bioversity International, Jacques Diouf of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and Kanayo Nwanze of the International Fund for Agricultural Development were unanimous in supporting the call to increase support to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and on other agricultural investments to improve agriculture in the developing world including small farmers in Africa.

"In these times of economic crisis everyone is looking for value for money, and research into agriculture offers a better return on investment than other forms of aid," said Emile Frison, Director General of Bioversity International. The group recommended to forward to the full G8 meeting a statement to call for "coherent and science-based policies aimed at fostering inclusive and environmentally sound agricultural growth managed through an enhanced cooperation at the international, regional and local levels".

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