World Food Organizations Discuss Visions for Achieving Global Food Security
28 February 2013: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) held a series of high-profile discussions looking at hunger in the context of a growing population and climate change.
The discussions, which were based around a book titled "One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?" took place on 27-28 February 2013, in Rome, Italy. Gordon Conway, one of the authors, introduced the book during a joint seminar, followed by comments from the three heads of the food agencies. Conway noted the need to increase food production by 60% by 2050 to meet the world's growing population, and said sustainable agriculture provides a pathway to achieve food security in the face of climate change due to its high productivity, high stability, high resilience and high equity. He promoted approaches grounded in innovation, markets, people and political leadership.
FAO Director General José Graziano Da Silva highlighted five conditions necessary to tackle hunger: if we can save and grow; if we put smallholder farmers as the center of efforts; if we have more effective food systems governance; if we build partnerships; and if we can link hunger, access and waste.
IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze thanked Conway for acknowledging that farmers in developing countries are knowledgeable and highly innovative. WFP Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin, welcomed the approach as offering multiple pathways for tackling food security, but called for more attention to be paid to access and nutrition. She highlighted examples of how the three agencies are collaborating on the ground.
Conway followed this joint seminar with an engagement with the Young Professional's Forum for International Development, and presentations at IFAD and WFP. [FAO Press Release] [Can We Feed the World Site] [IFAD Statement] [WFP Podcast with Sir Gordon Conway] [IFAD Statement]