UN Secretary General praises Biovision project
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
The UN Secretary General has praised a Biovision project in Africa in the report Agricultural Technology for Development. The report specifically mentions Biovision’s Farmer Communication Programme in East Africa as an example for empowering small-scale farmers, women in particular, through the dissemination of knowledge about sustainable methods and technologies, Biovision reports. The programme reaches farmers, around 65% of them women, via a monthly magazine, radio and the online platform www.infonet-biovision.org.
The report is based on various studies, notably the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and research conducted on behalf of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). These studies regard a shift towards sustainable ecological agriculture as hugely beneficial for global food security.
It is critical about genetically modified crops, “as the use of this technology has been mainly limited to cash crops and exports for animal feed and its contribution to food security and poverty reduction remains open to question”. Ban Ki Moon emphasises the relevance of small-scale farmers and women in global food systems and demands a holistic approach in promoting a change towards sustainable agricultural policies and calls for appropriate investments. He stresses the importance of locally adapted structures and calls for national assessments of agricultural policies involving all stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition. The final declaration of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, charged the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) with assisting countries in such assessments.
Biovision Foundation and the Millennium Institute are currently assisting three African countries, Senegal, Kenya and Ethiopia, in such a process. These pilot projects are part of Biovision’s advocacy activities at international level on recognition of the fact that all efforts on the ground to improve the livelihood of small-scale farmers would come to waste without a supportive political framework.
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