FAO presents awards to “Model Farmers” from five Asia-Pacific countries

Asia farmerThe UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in the Asia-Pacific region has convened a special ceremony to mark the achievements of farmers, fishers and pastoralists and their innovative work to feed an increasingly hungry world

On behalf of FAO, princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand presented FAO Model Farmer Awards to five agriculturalists from the Asia-Pacific region. She is a UN FAO Special Ambassador for Zero Hunger.

The five recipients – three women and two men – travelled to Bangkok from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Thailand and Vanuatu. The Model Farmer Awards are an annual fixture of FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. FAO member countries in the region are approached on a rotational basis to participate in the event and their governments propose the individual candidates to receive the awards.

World Food Day 2018 – A growing sense of urgency to combat hunger and malnutrition

In an address to the audience at the Bangkok awards ceremony, Her Royal Highness underscored the concerns, particularly as the Asia-Pacific region accounts for nearly half-a-billion hungry people – 62 per cent of the world’s 821mn undernourished.

“Recent news is troubling. It is warning us that, worldwide, the fight against hunger and malnutrition is losing its strength. Now, more than ever, our prospects for a sustainable future for all the people in this region depend on our ability to produce enough nutritious foods that will reach everyone and especially the most vulnerable,” she remarked.

“There is a growing realisation that achieving an end to hunger and malnutrition will require greater nutritional fortification of food. Safe water and improvements to sanitation are also critical, as are good health care systems. All of these approaches are needed to improve food security and nutrition in the region,” she further added.

A ZeroHunger world by 2030

“We cannot be beaten. We can still meet this goal,” said Kundhavi Kadiresan, FAO assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific.

“But it will take action, energy, collaboration and cooperation – involving governments and their policy makers, academia, the private sector, young people – and each of us – small changes in lifestyle can make a difference. By that I mean improvements to our food systems, conservation of natural resources, better hygiene, better sanitation, improvements to health care systems – and by stopping the huge waste of and loss of food that happens each day,” Kadiresan added.

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