Chennai, August 7, 2014: Ministerial delegates from the Asia-Pacific Region and over 200 senior diplomats, academicians and representatives from international and national organizations gather in Chennai today, for a four-day consultation on “Achieving the Zero Hunger Challenge” at M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). The consultation is organized in the context of the UN “International Year of Family Farming” (IYFF) being observed this year.
MSSRF is organizing the event in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, World Food Programme (WFP), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Department for International Development (DFID) UK, UN Women, Small Farmers’ Agribusiness Consortium other national and international agencies.
Key Speakers at the Consultation include:
- Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD
- Ertharin Cousin Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme
- Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific
- Shenggen Fan, Director General, IFPRI
- Estrella Penunia, Secretary General, Asian Farmers’ Association
- Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA, Director General
- Hoonae Kim, Director Asia and the Pacific, IFAD
- Ms. Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in India
- Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, Emeritus Chairman and Chief Mentor, MSSRF
- Dr. Rebecca Reichman Tavares, Regional Representative, UN Women
- Dr. Pravesh Sharma, Managing Director, SFAC
- Mr. Torben Due, India Country Director, WFP
- Dr. Peter E. Kenmore, Representative in India, FAO
Thiru Agri S. S. Krishnamoorthy, Agriculture Minister, Tamil Nadu delivers a special address and releases the report of MSSRF for the year.
Speaking about the event recently, Professor M S Swaminathan, Founder and Chief Mentor, MSSRF, referred to this as “the largest-ever gathering of ministerial delegates and experts, in recent years” and emphasized the importance of the IYFF. “Family farming offers an effective and economic solution to help meet the challenge of making sure that each person has access not just to calories but to nutritious food. With an estimated 500 million family farms across the world, we are looking at the role 2 billion people play, in achieving nutrition security.”
The conference consists of 5 plenary sessions dealing with themes of sustainability, gender, profitability, nutrition and technology in relation to family farming. State Agriculture Minister Thiru Agri Krishnamurthy, ministers /ministerial delegates from Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, Fiji, Maldives, Nepal, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam are participating.
With an estimated 8 billion mouths to feed by 2025, experts at the consultation will come up with a Chennai Declaration with recommendations for Governments and stakeholders in the region.
Established in 1988, with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that Professor Swaminathan received in 1987, MSSRF applies science and technology options to address practical problems faced by rural populations in agriculture, food and nutrition, impacting livelihood of 100,000 farmers and fisherfolk every day with influence that spreads across 18 countries.
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