The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has said agriculture is one of the keys to lasting peace and security, noting that despite its critical role, only eight per cent of the total funding for the humanitarian food security sector goes to agriculture.
FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, stated this at the United Nations Security Council meeting on conflict and food security entitled “Maintenance of International Peace and Security – Conflict and Food Security,” in New York, on Thursday.
Dongyu called for greater funding for agriculture to ensure there’s available and accessible food in crisis situations, adding that conflict remains the single greatest driver of hunger.
According to him, conflict remains the single biggest contributor to global hunger, “Between 2018 and 2021, the number of people in crisis situations in countries where conflict was the main driver of acute food insecurity increased by 88%, to just over 139 million,” Qu added.
Also, to prevent the acceleration of acute food insecurity trends in the coming months and years, Qu stressed the importance of expanding food production at the country-level by providing cash and critical inputs for cereal and vegetable production; as well as protecting livestock with treatments, vaccinations, feed and water.
“Agrifood supply and value chains must be strengthened with the engagement of the public and private sector in support of smallholder farmers and households,” Dongyu said.
Furthermore, he urged the global community to allocate new resources to sustain agricultural production in challenging contexts and to invest more in innovation and new technologies, especially in water management, and in more transparent market information systems.
“Members urgently need to transform their agrifood systems to be more efficient, more inclusive, more resilient, and more sustainable for better production, better nutrition, a better environment and a better life – leaving no one behind,” Dongyu noted.