To address the most immediate threats posed to the agriculture sector and rural development in the Asia and the Pacific, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) along with its 46 member nations, private sector and civil society organizations in the region convene a conference, providing an inclusive platform to examine ways forward to strengthen the resilience of agro-food systems and livelihoods and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and climate change on agricultural sectors in this, the most populated part of the world.
Represented by H.E. Mr. Alimorad Sarafrazi, the Acting-Head of Public Relations and International Affairs Center of the Ministry of Agriculture Jahad, H.E. Ambassador Mohammad Hossein Emadi, Iran Permanent Envoy to FAO, and H.E. Mr. Ali Kiani Rad, the Head of Iran’s Agricultural Planning, Economic and Rural Development Research Institute, Iranian delegation share its concerns regarding the increasing challenges the agriculture sector faces at both regional and global scales, particularly highlighting the adverse effects of climate change, the lack of knowledge-loaded agricultural practices, low-skilled workforce, the prevalence of poverty in rural communities and youth emigrations.
Engaging actively in the discussions held on solutions strategies, the Iranian delegation underscores the need to increase the investment in food systems and promoting the utilization of digital technologies in this sector, as the two key factors to boost both productivity and sustainability of agricultural activities.
According to a press release published by FAO Representation in Iran, The 35th session of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, organized virtually from 1 to 4 September 2020, is focused on, among other things, the impact of COVID-19 on food and agriculture; setting regional priorities to manage water for agriculture under conditions of water scarcity; building sustainable and resilient food systems; harnessing innovation and digital agriculture and implementing FAO’s Hand-in-Hand Initiative – as an evidence-based, country-led and country-owned program forged to accelerate the agricultural transformation and sustainable rural development to eradicate poverty, and end hunger and all forms of malnutrition across the region.
Home to more than half a billion of the world’s undernourished people, Asia and the Pacific region due to COVID-19-linked lockdowns is experiencing an economic slowdown, widespread job losses, collapsing incomes, and falling remittances that further threatened the food security and increased the acute hunger in the region.
These circumstances require collective efforts and FAO and its national counterparts call on all stakeholders and interest groups to link the arms to tackle these converging challenges in Asia and the Pacific.
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