Director General of FAO visits Cape Verde


Centro MovelUnited Nations, April 6, 2010 – The Director General of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), Dr. Jacques Diouf is in Cape Verde for a four-day official visit. The visit of the FAO's leader to Cape Verde takes place after a year and a half of the implementation of the UN One Program in Cape Verde and fits within the implementation of actions of cooperation between the Government of Cape Verde and the FAO.

Remembering when the program was approved as part of the ongoing UN reform, FAO in a joint action strategy with other agencies of the United Nations system, contributes to the implementation of three of the nine sub-programs already existing, such as Economic Graduation, Economic Growth, Environment, Energy, Prevention and Response to Disasters. During the second day of his visit in Cape Verde, Mr. Diouf visited some of the projects that rely on technical and financial support of FAO and benefit approximately 600 families, representing more than three thousand beneficiaries at the national level.

In the field, the Director General of FAO, was able to know and estimate the impact of intervention from the direct beneficiaries, assessing the gains and the challenges of ongoing projects, which have as their main objective to contribute to the fight against poverty and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly the Goals 1, 2 and 7 (End Poverty and Hunger, Universal Education and Environmental Sustainability).

Mr. Diouf acknowledged the way that the country has been managing the water resources available for agriculture, considering that its sustainable management is the way to allow water to be managed efficiently, contributing to improving the lives of several families. At the same time, he assured that FAO will keep cooperating with the country in areas identified by national authorities, highlighting the possibility of cooperation in the field of aquaculture as one of the interventions that aim to support the strengthening of ongoing actions to assure food security, sustainability of fishing sector, and economic growth. During the visit to the projects, the Director General of FAO was accompanied by the Minister of the Environment, Rural Development and Marine Resources; the UN System Resident Coordinator in Cape Verde; the FAO Representative in Cape Verde; technicians and specialists from the Ministry of Environment and FAO; and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For a globalized world: a modern agriculture

"I realized my dream. I would like to inspire other farmers so they can realize their dreams too. It is possible. With support from FAO and the Ministry of Environment, we practice here a modern and sustainable agriculture, and with income for my family and me", says Otilio.

Otilio Semedo, a 25-year-old resident of Pico Leão, tells his story of success with all the conviction of having chosen the right path in achieving your dream and the future of his family and his community.

Sure to be able to best contribute to the development of the local community, and with some emotion, Otilio considers himself an example of success. He ensures that he wants to be an example to other farmers of the area as well as other places that plan on investing in modern agriculture, so everyone can enter the globalized and competitive world. "I didn't have this opportunity before. I didn't produce enough to compete in the market. After the introduction of the irrigation system "drop-by-drop" and training, I began to produce more and better and even I increased my area of production." For that young farmer only with modern agriculture can you enter the market with quality products.

With the implementation of the irrigation system "drop-by-drop" the examples multiply. The benefits are proving to be important and the results point to a valuable contribution in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. In the community of São Martinho Pequeno, the experience of a school garden demonstrates that besides contributing to Goal 1 "End poverty and hunger", the project is educational as well. Focusing on nutritional, agricultural and environmental matters, the project helps to complement the nutritional diet of the children which contributes indirectly to the achievement of Goal 2 "Universal Education". This experience has had an impact on the local population, which according to the teacher Ana Bernadete, they don't have financial resources to ensure high quality food for their children, but because of the project, the school is able to complement the nutritional needs of the students. Thus contributing to the school's success, the failure and dropout rate are nil, partly due to the existence of a varied and balanced diet that is offered everyday to the children. With the support of the project Telefood, this school manages the garden in a sustainable way, selling the surplus production, to ensure the introduction of other nutrients and ingredients in the diet of the students.