Technology, innovation key to reshaping food systems: UN

ROME, July 31, 2019 (Xinhua) — New Director-General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Qu Dongyu speaks during an official handover ceremony in Rome, Italy, on July 31, 2019. An official ceremony was held here on Wednesday to mark the handover between the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) outgoing chief Jose Graziano Da Silva and the new Director-General of the agency Qu Dongyu, who vowed to make this organization more dynamic, transparent and inclusive. (Xinhua/Liu Yongqiu/IANS)

Rome, Sep 28 (IANS/AKI) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is striving to develop a new business model based on science, data, transparency and accountability that fosters strong partnerships with the private sector, FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu said on Friday.

“The world needs a strong, efficient and dynamic FAO. And FAO needs strong reliable partnerships with you,” Qu told representatives from the private sector at a meeting held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

The meeting offered a platform to discuss and reinforce partnerships for realizing the much-needed transformation in food systems, and mobilizing all available technology, innovation, knowledge and expertise to achieve positive impact at scale in the agriculture sectors, according to a statement from the Rome-based FAO.

FAO presented the new Hand-in-Hand Initiative to private sector and foundation representatives, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and dairy giant Danone, as well as UN entities and other institutions, with the aim of garnering support and feedback, the statement said.

Hand-to-Hand looks at bringing together countries with the highest poverty and hunger rates and developed countries to support development efforts in the Least Landlocked Developing Countries, Least Developed Small Island Developing States, and countries affected by food crises.

In its next phase, the initiative will support highly-populated, less developed countries, the statement added.

FAO works to make private sector investments compliant with the Sustainable Development Goals across the agricultural value chain, the statement underlined.

An example is FAO’s AgrInvest programme being implemented in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Niger, and Burkina Fas, which leverages development funding to unlock private investments for the agri-food sector, the statement noted.

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