‘If We Abandon Smallholder Farmers, We Abandon Our Future,” IFAD President to Tell G20 Ministers

Rome (PRWEB) May 31, 2016

With around 795 million hungry people in the world, and an additional 60 million needing food aid in the wake of droughts and crop failures caused by El Nio, agricultural ministers from the G20 countries meeting in China this week have an enormous challenge ahead of them, says the president of the UN agency dedicated to assisting smallholder farmers.

“This G20 Agriculture Ministers Meeting could not be more timely,” said Kanayo Nwanze, president of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on the eve of his departure for China. “It is more urgent than ever to invest in smallholder farmers to make them more resilient to the shocks that cause crop failures. They are the backbone of our food systems. If we abandon smallholder farmers, we abandon our future.”

More than three billion people – close to half the world’s population – live in rural areas and most depend on farming for their sustenance and income.

The theme of this year’s Agricultural Ministers Meeting is “Innovation, Cooperation and Sustainable Agricultural Investment” and the ministers will discuss how to work together to promote food security, nutrition, sustainable agricultural growth, and rural development across the world.

The Agricultural Ministers Meeting takes place on 3 June in Xi’an. On 2 June, Nwanze will open the first ever G20 Agricultural Entrepreneurs Forum, which aims to create a conducive business environment for G20 agricultural investments.

While in China, Nwanze will also meet China’s Minister of Agriculture, Han Changfu, and Vice Minister of Finance, Shi Yaobin.