Traditional crops need protection from climate change – FAO

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says Traditional food crops and other plant varieties worldwide are in urgent need of protection from climate change and other environmental stresses.

Mr Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the FAO has therefore called on countries to develop specific policies to conserve and make wider use of plant varieties for generations to come.

“The conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are key to ensuring that the world will produce enough food to feed its growing population in the future,” Mr Diouf said when the UN agency observed the 10th anniversary of the international treaty to protect and share plant genetic resources November 14, 2011.

According to a press release, Mr Diouf lauded the injection of $6 million made available through the treaty to help farmers of traditional crops adapt to climate change.

The FAO boss, according to a press release, pointed out that the global gene pool of more than 1.5 million samples of plant genetic material governed collectively and multilaterally by signature countries under the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture constitutes the basis for more than 80% of the world’s food derived from plants.

He adds “It is possibly our most important tool for adapting agriculture to climate change in the years to come.”

The release quoted Shakeel Bhatti, Secretary of the International Treaty as saying “The effects of climate change on agriculture do not respect national borders, they cover entire agro-ecological zones. For this reason, this portfolio of projects is taking a pioneering approach in generating a global knowledge base. Some of these projects will help us to establish clear priorities and action plans across borders for future actions.”

By Ekow Quandzie

1 Comment
  1. keija says

    Has any one in Ghana read “U.N. a Cosa Nostra” on FAO and Mr. Diouf’s management style ?

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