The Hanoitimes - The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will continue to assist Vietnam in poverty reduction and sustainable agriculture production, FAO Representative in Vietnam Yuriko Shoji said.
Currently, apart from helping Vietnam to assure food security in remote areas and those affected by the impact of climate change, FAO has been helping Vietnam to establish food security law, she said.
Praising Vietnam’s efforts in reaching the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in poverty reduction and food security, especially graduating from being a recipient of food assistance to the solid position of a food exporting country, the FAO official also said she believed that with sound planning, investment and programme management, Vietnam would succeed in ensuring food security for all its people.
At a ceremony to mark 30 years of World Food Day (Oct. 16) in the midland province of Phu Tho on Oct. 11, Yuriko Shoji said this year’s topic is “United against hunger” and she called for joint efforts from individuals, agencies and countries throughout the world towards hunger eradication and poverty reduction.
FAO has reported that about one billion people, or one sixth of the world’s population, are starving.
Natural disasters and diseases, together with financial crisis, have pushed world food prices up, leading to the increasing number of starving people, according to FAO.
In the context that cultivated land is becoming more scarce, food production will have to increase by 75 percent in order to meet food demand for nine billion people in 2050, the organisation warned.
As a result, FAO General Director Jacques Diouf stressed the necessity of expanding food production to meet future demand.
According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu, Vietnam, a country with 70 percent of its population living in rural areas, has made efforts to ensure an adequate food supply for the population which is increasing by one million people every year.
Being a rice export country, Vietnam does not have to cope with food shortages. However, its agricultural production in recent years is facing hardship due to natural disasters, diseases, climate change and a reduced area of agricultural land, Thu said.
Increasing food prices also lead to higher vulnerability among particular groups of people, especially in the areas of high poverty and malnutrition rate, she added.
The General Statistics Office reported that in the first nine months of the year, more than 2.65 million people, living mainly in the northern midland and mountainous areas, are starving.
Vietnam seeks further FAO assistance in agriculture production, especially in a new rural development programme in the future, Thu said.
To develop sustainable agriculture, a food security plan developed by the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Natural Resources and Environment put forward a target of maintaining 3.8 million ha of land for agricultural production by 2030.
The ministries also help farmers develop food production cooperatives, with priority given to rice growing areas, together with increasing investment in infrastructure.