Food security under discussion in Hanoi

More than 500 delegates from 150 countries are gathering in Hanoi for the 2nd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change to food security in a changing environment.

The five-day event, which opened on September 3, is co-organized by the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank (WB).

Addressing the opening session, MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat said that the conference aims to seek new financial resources, promote research and technology transfers, boost private-public partnerships (PPPs), and enhance risk management.

Minister Phat stressed that it is no easy task to achieve 70 percent growth in global food output to ensure food security for a total world population of more than seven billion, especially when natural resources are being exploited ineffectively and the consequences of natural disasters and climate change are becoming worse.

To achieve the set targets, every nation should have better and more comprehensive policies for agricultural development in line with their national development strategies, he added.

Dutch Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation Hans Hoogeveen said it is important to improve agricultural systems and protect the environment, emphasising that adjusting to agricultural shifts plays a key role in sustainable growth.

He called on all countries to join hands in dealing with the challenges of climate change and draw lessons from successful nations, including Vietnam.

Representatives from the FAO and WB shared their views on the PPP model, focused on encouraging the private sector to participate in agricultural development and the application of environmentally-friendly technology.

A ministerial meeting will be convened on September 6 to approve the outcome of the ongoing conference, which is expected to contribute to a number of international processes, in particular the Rio+20 follow-up, as well as various partnerships, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), and current negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.