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FAO Committee Assesses Challenges to Food Security

16 October 2010: The Committee on World Food Security  (CFS) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) met for its 36th session in Rome, Italy, from 11-16 October 2010. The session was designed to encourage sharing of experiences and coordination of initiatives at global, regional and national levels.

In the opening plenary, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf highlighted the need for agricultural production to increase by 70% worldwide to feed a global population expected to reach over 9 billion by 2050, stressing the challenges posed by climate change. Yukiko Omura, on behalf of Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), identified the impact of climate change on agriculture as a priority area that threatens production and food security.

During the meeting, a policy roundtable discussed managing vulnerability and risk to promote better food security and nutrition. Members of the roundtable considered a variety of policy recommendations including: engaging in farming practices that reduce climate-induced risks; promoting crops that are resilient to climate change; improving weather information and downscaling climate change projections; and investing in climate-resilient public works. Many speakers noted that this is the first meeting of the CFS since a governance reform that has opened the meetings of the Committee to a wider group of stakeholders and brought in advice from a High-Level Panel of Experts.

The Committee was asked to commission the High-Level Panel of Experts to make proposals on the best design of a range of interlinked policies for the adaptation to climate change of the various actors along food chains, based on a review of assessments of the impacts of climate change on food security and the ways for agricultural systems and food chains to adapt. The CFS Secretariat is composed of members from the FAO, IFAD and the World Food Programme (WFP). [CFS Website] [Opening Press Release] [FAO Director-General's Speech] [IFAD President Address]