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UN's FAO teams up to combat food insecurity in Asia-Pacific

UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization teams up with Asian Institute of Technology to combat hunger and food insecurity in Asia-Pacific

Bangkok, Thailand, 10 January 2014 – Two of Asia-Pacific’s leading organizations and institutes have formally pledged to work together to develop innovative approaches in research, education and capacity building to counter hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in the region.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) was signed today at the FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in Bangkok.

“This is a meaningful partnership that will provide opportunities for joint collaboration relating to FAO’s regional priorities,” said Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific. “Through this MoU, AIT and FAO will continue to pursue regional capacity development designed to tackle poverty and improve food security through sustainable agricultural intensification and the development of greener technology.”

“In order to achieve sustainable development for all there is a need to have strong linkages between academic institutes and development organizations,” said Professor Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai, President (Interim) of AIT. “FAO and AIT have a history of complementing each other’s work and today’s agreement formalizes our desire for increased collaboration.”

The representatives from the two organizations said they recognized the requirement for a greater commitment to support capacity building in science and education, and a strong commitment to increased efforts to bring together various disciplines that link research and knowledge with application.

Key thematic areas have been identified as entry points for collaboration. These include information and knowledge exchange, internship programmes and e-Learning.

Konuma pointed to a list of potential areas such as agriculture and food security, natural resource management, technology-enabled food supply chains, agricultural extension and communication, food safety and nutrition, sustainable water management, gender mainstreaming, the effects of climate change and climate smart agriculture.

FAO and AIT have also been working together on a EUR 3.4 million project on developing systems of rice intensification and relevant policy advice in the Lower Mekong River Basin. The two organizations also collaborated in the Save Food Asia-Pacific campaign.

ENDS

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