Oct 25, 2013

AIDF Food Security Summit hosted by UNESCAP to focus on agricultural developments

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AIDF Food Security Summit hosted by UNESCAP to focus on agricultural developments

(London, 22October 2013) AIDF Food Security Summit 2013: to tackle poverty and food insecurity. Biotechnology can offer potential support to successfully manage the increasing demand for food.

The global community faces a number of daunting challenges with regards to food security. The world’s population is expected to top nine billion by 2050, an increase of almost three billion. A mass migration of people into urban areas, combined with rising consumption and consumerism is further increasing the strain on food supplies.

Despite the fact that the economies of Asia and the Pacific are out-growing the average global economic expansion by far, over 700 million people in Asia and the Pacific still live in poverty (defined as living on less than $1.25 each day).

Interestingly, a vast number of the region’s most undernourished people work in agriculture. Reasons for food insecurity are extremely wide ranging and include rising populations and increased consumerism. According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), the global demand for food is expected to increase by 60% by 2050.

In order to meet this growing demand and help farmers tackle incumbent issues such as resource scarcity, climate change, land degradation and shrinking forests, several measures are needed to foster innovation and increase agricultural productivity. In particular, an appropriate use of biotechnology could offer considerable potential to the scope, increasing crop yields and reducing production costs, even for small-scale farmers in the region.

To investigate the impact of biotechnology to agriculture productivity and to engage discussions on agricultural issues regarding food security, the UNESCAP is hosting the AIDF Food Security Summit: Asia 2013. Over 300 delegates from NGOs, businesses, government and UN organisations meet in Bangkok on the 26th and 27th of November to discuss food security and malnutrition in Asia and the Pacific. The two day summit aims to provoke robust debate and information sharing and provides a platform for the formation of strategic partnerships to tackle the problems surrounding food security.

Commenting on the upcoming summit, Dr. Andrew Jackson said, “the AIDF summit is a welcome step in addressing this very major problem; food insecurity is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, threats to the successful escape from poverty for millions of people in the Asia Pacific regions”, he added, “there is great hope that the summit will really push for change and force key practitioners to readdress the issue and come up with effective solutions”.

Hiroyuki Honuma, Assistant Director General of FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and Pacific added, “This forum is very important to us as it is an arena for both UN Staff and Citizens to discuss our common issues and find solutions”.

Alongside world experts in the field high profile speakers will include the Deputy Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP, Mr. Shun-ichi Murata, who shares his extensive knowledge gained from directing UNDP’s Tokyo Office and working for UNDP all over the world, and Katinka Weinberger, a leading Agricultural Economist who currently serves as head of ESCAP’s Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture.

Additional Information

The issue of food security are discussed in-depth at AIDF Food Security: Asia 2013, hosted by UN ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) in Bangkok on the 26-27 November 2013.

High profile speakers include:

  • Mr. Shun-ichi Murata, Deputy Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP
  • Katinka Weinberger, Head, ESCAP Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture
  • Dr. Deepika Nayar Chaudhery, Deputy Regional Director, Asia, The Micronutrient Initiative
  • Dr. Bas Bouman, Director of the Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), International Rice Research institute (IRRI).
    The two day summit provides a platform for public-private partnerships to be forged and aims to push for change and targeted solutions.
    Visit www.aidforumonline.org to register for the event and to find out more details

Contact details
Agnes Gradzewicz | Head of Marketing | AIDF
Email: agradzewicz@aidforumonline.org
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7871 0123 ext. 242