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The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), of the United Nations, has called for more investment in agriculture, to mitigate against the world food crisis.
Delivering the organisation’s message at a church service held at the Mandeville Parish Church recently, to mark World Food Day, Assistant Representative for Jamaica and the Bahamas, Dr. Gillian Smith, said the world food crisis has been brought to the forefront of the global development agenda.
“There is indeed a need to address the growing food demand due to increasing populations, economic progress in emerging countries and competition in the bioenergy sector when supply is affected by climate change and declining stocks. This year’s World Food Day theme, which is: ‘World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy’, provides an opportunity to implement creative strategies to manage this problem,” she stated.
Dr. Smith said countries must deal with climate change effectively to prevent further agricultural decline. Failing to do so, she said, will also help to increase the migration of persons to other countries.
“We also need to create food enabling frameworks for substantial increase of direct foreign investments for agriculture in low-income, food deficit countries. Equitable partnerships between countries, which have land water and labour supply and countries, which have financial resources, management facilities and markets, would constitute a solid base for sustainable agriculture. Agriculture has to be able to double global food production by 2050, when the current population, which is now at six billion, will reach nine billion,” she added.
The FAO official said all stakeholders must be mobilised to implement an agreement reached in Rome earlier this year with 181 countries to boost agriculture across the globe.
“On this World Food Day 2008, I invite you to promote the Declaration of the High-Level Conference on World Food Security, mobilising all stakeholders: national Government, international institutions, agricultural professional organisations, civil society and the private sector for its implementation. More than ever, the future of this planet depends on our capacity to sustain the development of agriculture in the poorest countries,” she said.