FAO priorities and José Graziano da Silva’s another term in office

| Foreign Markets |

On June 8th José Graziano da Silva announced the main priorities of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), namely combating hunger, increasing food availability and preventing climate change. Two days earlier, José Graziano da Silva had been voted in to his second term as the Director General of the Organization.

A certain re-election and the 70th anniversary

At a conference held on June 6th in FAO headquarters in Rome, Graziano da Silva was given 177 out of 182 of the votes cast in the election. The number was the highest ever in the history of the Organization, which celebrated the 70th anniversary of its establishment in 2015.

During his opening speech, the re-elected Director said that the Organization, in cooperation with the member countries, had contributed greatly to increasing food production in the world. In his opinion, eliminating the current problem with malnourishment needs to remain one of the chief goals towards sustainable development in the world.

Obesity and malnutrition

On a global scale, a fall in malnourishment level is followed by a rise in obesity, which has become an acute problem. The issue concerns both the developing countries as well as the developed nations, with particular regard to middle income ones.

“Malnourishment” is not commonly associated with obesity, and yet the two have plenty in common. The problem concerns the deficit of nutrients, for example vitamins, which are indispensable for the proper functioning of the body. WHO defines malnutrition as organic imbalance between the demand for nutrients and calories, and the supply necessary for growth, sustaining life functions and performing certain body functions.

Climate change and food security

José Graziano da Silva drew the attention of the audience to the impact that climate change had on agriculture in all countries, in particular the small developing states located on islands and those in dry locations. By introducing correct policies in this respect, we can raise food security, adjust to climate change and alleviate its consequences. What is required, though, is overcoming the mainstream, clichéd approach to food security and adopting sustainable and flexible food systems.