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FAO Underlines Role of Trade in Food Security

By Jaya Ramachandran

ROME (IDN) – The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned that declining prices could obstruct international efforts to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty, and called for necessary steps to guarantee decent incomes and livelihoods for small-scale producers.

“Low food prices reduce the incomes of farmers, especially poor family farmers who produce staple food in the developing countries. This cut in the flow of cash into rural communities also reduces the incentives for new investments in production, infrastructure and services,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at a high-level meeting on agricultural commodity prices in Rome.


Africa’s Great Green Wall a New World Wonder in the Making

By Rodrigo Pérez

RIO DE JANEIRO (IDN-INPS) – Beneath the glitz and glamour, the Samba and Rio’s Carnival-like atmosphere, this year’s Olympic Games Opening Ceremony showcased the most impossible sounding dream of all – Africa’s Great Green Wall.

The initiative started a decade ago. Once completed it will be the largest man-made structure on Earth and a new Wonder of the World.

The progress made shows that land restoration efforts on a mass scale are both possible and offer hope. Senegal has already planted 12 million trees, Ethiopia has restored 15 million hectares of degraded land and Nigeria has created 20,000 jobs in rural areas.

Photo credit: FAO

IFAD Strengthens Partnerships with Central America

By Ronald Joshua

ROME | SAN SALVADOR (IDN) – Family farming accounts for about 50% of Agricultural Gross Domestic Product in Central America. It employs a huge percentage of agricultural working force, ranging from 36% in Costa Rica) to 76% in Honduras.

According to the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN agency dedicated to rural development, about 2.3 million families in the region work in family farming.

It is estimated that 6 in 10 family farmers face food insecurity and 65% live in poverty. Family farms’ heads are, in 85% of the cases, male. Their average age is 49. Family farms’ average extension is 1.13 ha.

With this in view, IFAD has joined hands with PRISMA-OXFAM-RIMISP Consortium to launch in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, a Regional Rural Dialogue Programme (PDRR), a network of family farmers’ organizations, focused on Central America and the Dominican Republic.

Photo: The El Niño-induced drought in Ziway Dugda, Oromia region of Ethiopia, is affecting every family and they don't have enough food at home to feed themselves. Credit: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

El Niño Puts Over 60 Million at Risk Destroying Food Crops Worldwide

Analysis by Rodney Reynolds

NEW YORK (IDN) – The UK-based charity Oxfam has warned that El Nino has triggered one of the worst droughts in the history of Latin America and the Caribbean causing devastation to food crops and threatening food shortages.

“Families across Latin America are running out of food and options, as farmers report another failed harvest due to intense and unpredictable weather patterns compounded by El Niño,” said Oxfam in a report released May 5. 

Currently, at least 3.5 million people in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador do not have enough to eat and, at least 7 million people are affected by El Nino across Latin America and the Caribbean.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien said on April 26 that with millions of people across the world affected by droughts, floods and other extreme weather events triggered by El Niño, the international community must act now to address urgent humanitarian needs and support






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