FAO Regional Conference Addresses Pressing Agrifood Challenges In Asia-Pacific

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News in brief:
– FAO’s 37th Regional Conference for Asia-Pacific focuses on innovative strategies for agrifood systems transformation, addressing challenges of hunger, poverty, and sustainability.
– Key priorities include increasing agricultural production, sustainable resource management, and supporting inclusive rural development, with a call for strong political will and investment to drive transformation.

The 37th session of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific kicked off this week, drawing attention to the critical challenges facing the region’s agrifood systems. Ministers from across Asia and the Pacific are convening for a four-day meeting to address issues ranging from hunger and poverty to sustainability and resilience.

In his opening statement, FAO Director-General QU Dongyu emphasised the need for innovative thinking and action-oriented strategies to accelerate the transformation of agrifood systems. Highlighting the approach of recovery, reform, rebuild, and renaissance, Dongyu underscored the importance of addressing the region’s pressing agricultural issues.

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu emphasized the need for innovative thinking in agrifood systems transformation
FAO Director-General QU Dongyu emphasized the need for innovative thinking.

Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe explained the pivotal role of agriculture in the country’s economic recovery, highlighting it as a priority sector alongside tourism. The FAO Director-General commended Sri Lanka’s commitment to agricultural transformation, acknowledging its efforts in reshaping agrifood systems.

Challenges amid economic progress

While the Asia-Pacific region boasts three of the world’s largest economies, challenges persist, exacerbated by the global pandemic and environmental crises. Disruptions in agricultural production due to natural disasters have compounded issues of hunger and malnutrition, affecting millions across the region.

Delegates at the conference discussed evidence-based strategies focusing on science, innovation, and technology to accelerate agrifood systems transformation. Key priorities include increasing agricultural production, sustainable natural resources management, and supporting inclusive rural transformation.

FAO, in consultation with stakeholders, outlined clear regional priorities aimed at enhancing food security, conserving biodiversity, and promoting equitable rural development. With a focus on vulnerable populations and developing countries, FAO aims to spearhead sustainable development efforts in the region.

As the conference progresses, there’s a growing call for strong political will, enabling policies, and sufficient investment to realise agrifood systems transformation. FAO Director-General Dongyu believes that the Asia-Pacific region has the potential to lead global efforts toward sustainable development, emphasizing the importance of collective action and commitment.

Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Ohabughiro
Chinwendu Gift Ohabughiro has a background in English and Literary Studies from Imo State University. She brings a fresh perspective to the world of agriculture writing. When she's not penning compelling content, she's likely lost in the pages of a thrilling mystery or treating herself to the sinful delight of chocolate.

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