Agriculture, particularly family farming, is crucial for Caribbean countries to achieve food security as they face climate change and other challenges, and can also spur their economic development by creating jobs, especially for youth, according to FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.
In a statement to a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government summit in the Bahamas recently, he stressed how over the last two decades efforts to combat hunger and malnutrition in the Caribbean have made substantial progress.
The FAO Director-General noted that more than 70 developing countries have already met the Millennium Development Goal hunger target of halving the proportion of hungry people by 2015.
This includes four CARICOM countries out of the 130 nations for which FAO regularly monitors hunger figures: Barbados, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and now Suriname as well, which has just achieved the goal this year.
“Let´s be inspired by these success stories, because a lot remains to be done,” Graziano da Silva told the assembled leaders.
Graziano da Silva stressed how the island nations of the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to extreme natural events such as hurricanes – being made more frequent, violent and unpredictable by climate change – which threaten agriculture, food security and sustainable development.
He described agriculture and family farming as “drivers of inclusive economic growth and sustainable development,” and noted how they can create new employment opportunities, especially important for youth, and be linked to the tourism industry, an important source of revenue for many Caribbean countries.
“In few places is the impact of climate change so evident as in Small Island Developing States. For us, climate change is not just an urgent issue. It is a question of survival,” the FAO Director-General concluded.
Source | http://www.fao.org