Eradicating hunger and malnutrition and achieving sustainable development requires strengthened global partnerships and sustainable investments to drive economic growth, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) Deputy Director-General for Programmes, Daniel Gustafson, said during the opening ceremony in Rome of EXCO2019, an international development cooperation fair.
This is in line with the commitment made by the international community to SDG 17, which calls for strengthening global partnerships to support and achieve the ambitious targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, bringing together national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector.
“The overwhelming amount of investment in agriculture comes from farmers. Farmers and their decisions and ability to invest must be central to any strategy aimed at expanding investment in the sector,” Gustafson said. “There are more than 570 million farms in the world, of which more than 90 percent are run by an individual or a family and rely primarily on family labor. However, small-scale agriculture, especially in rain-fed areas, is a high-risk and low-return activity that does not easily attract private investment,” he added.
Gustafson noted that innovation is needed throughout the food systems and, equally important, investment in innovation in the food system can pay off very well in job creation, when considering the complete value chain, from production to the final consumer.