APAC countries come together to set goals for food security

Asia farmer rice USAID Asia FLICKRGovernments from 46 Asia-Pacific countries have convened in Malaysia to consider corrective actions to safeguard the nutrition and well-being of this and future generations

Delegates to the 33rd ‘FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific’ include government ministers and senior officials who, over the course of five days, will discuss a broad range of food and agriculture-related issues. These include the present state of food production across the region, and ways to boost nutrition and end child stunting while curbing the growing rates of obesity. The delegates will also examine the challenges facing intensification of fisheries and aquaculture and the need to connect smallholder farmers to value-chains to improve their food-security and livelihoods, as they produce the majority of the food we eat.

FAO assistant director-general and regional representative for Asia and the Pacific, Kundhavi Kadiresan said, “We must find ways to end the hunger of hundreds of millions of people in Asia and the Pacific, while at the same time increasing production of nutritious foods sustainably, and in ecologically acceptable ways, for the future. Let’s be clear, this is our duty. We owe it to our children – and we owe it to their children.”

The Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific is also carefully examining the demographic challenges facing agriculture. The average age of farmers has been on the increase for many years. Two of the main reasons for this are rural-urban migration trends and a decline in the number of young people entering the agriculture sector.

The conference will hold a roundtable discussion on why youth are not considering agriculture as a career, whether that means farming, fishing or studying agricultural sciences.

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