FAO Director-General Calls for Investments in Agriculture


3 June 2008: In his opening statement to the High-Level

Conference on World Food Security in Rome, Italy, FAO Director-General Jacques

Diouf called on Heads of State to make urgently needed investments in

agriculture to address the global food crisis and ensure long term food security.

He said that, despite the pledges made at the 1996 World Food

Summit to halve world food hunger by 2015, resources to finance agricultural

programmes in developing countries had decreased significantly. He said,

against the background of billions of dollars spent on agricultural subsidies

in OECD countries, in particular for the production of biofuels, it is hard to

explain why it is not possible “to find 30 billion dollars a year to enable 862

million hungry people to enjoy the most fundamental of human rights: the right

to food, and thus the right to life.” Diouf noted that the “structural solution

to the problem of food security in the world lies in increasing production and

productivity in the low-income food-deficit countries,” which calls for

innovative solutions, including partnership agreements. He also highlighted

that the “challenges of climate change, bioenergy, transboundary animal and

plant diseases and agricultural commodity prices can only be met through frank

dialogue based on objective analysis devoid of partisan and short-term

interests.” [Statement FAO press

release] [FAO Conference website]

[IISD RS coverage]