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Remarks by Gilbert Houngbo, President of IFAD, at the 46th Plenary Session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS 46)

Accelerating Progress on SDG 2 to Achieve all the SDGs

Location: FAO Headquarters, Rome, Italy

14 October 2019

Excellencies,

Honourable Delegates,

Colleagues, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First, let me congratulate the CFS on celebrating its 45th anniversary, and also the tenth anniversary of its reform.

Today, as we discuss the need to accelerate/expedite/speed up progress on SDG2, it is clear that all of us here have an important role to play in transforming food systems, and that we need to be united – not only in our dedication to the 2030 Agenda; but also, in improving the quality and impact of our work.

A few weeks ago, in New York, the High- Level Political Forum focused the world’s attention on food security and nutrition. This week, in Rome, we can build on this momentum through CFS 46.

We all know that progress on SDG2 has stalled. We also know the centrality of inclusive and sustainable food systems to delivering on so many of the sustainable development goals – including no poverty, good health, gender equality, clean water, and climate action.

Therefore, if we fall behind on SDG 2, we put the entire 2030 Agenda in jeopardy. We must not allow this to happen.

What can we do? Firstly, we can invest in the resilience of small-scale and family farmers. We can also make a priority of SDG2.3 – to double the productivity and incomes of smallholders.

Small farms already produce more than 50 per cent of all food calories on 30 per cent of the world’s agricultural land. Just imagine what they could do for food security if they doubled their output!

Second, we can work to continuously improve the quality and impact of our action in the field.

And third, we can commit ourselves – individually as well as collectively, to creating the momentum for change. We need to create momentum for political commitment, for political engagement, and the scientific community to make agricultural research a priority.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Achieving zero hunger, and indeed all the SDGs, will depend on a transformation of our food systems, and one that places smallholders front and centre. We look forward with working with everyone here today to make that transformation a reality.

Thank you.