At the opening ceremony of the 168th session, QU also called for making agri-food systems more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, and ultimately achieving the Four Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment and a Better Life for All.
¨We need extraordinary thinking, ways of doing business and extraordinary efficiency and effectiveness next year,¨ FAO Director-General said in opening remarks.
“I have been walking the talk,” Qu said in a wide-ranging address touching on how FAO has been made more fit for purpose in the 28 months since he took office in August 2019, while grappling with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. He noted that FAO continued to be “prudently optimistic on the progress towards a ‘new normal’.”
He made particular mention on efforts to contain desert locust outbreaks and control the spread of the fall armyworm, already present in over 75 countries, with crop yield losses of $9.4 billion in Africa alone.
He also argued that while most agri-food systems were kept during the Covid-19 crisis, falling incomes for many households severely limited access to food, with 45 million people in 43 countries currently close to hunger.