April 20th, 2009 13:29 EST
UN: Agriculture Key To Growing Economies Out Of Recession
UN NEWS CENTRE
Investment in smallholder agriculture must top industrialized countries` agendas to grow the world economy out of recession, the head of the United Nations` rural funding arm said today at the conclusion of the first ever G8 Agricultural Ministers` Meeting.
Protecting and increasing the access of poor rural people to financial services is even more vital now as the global financial crisis bites and remittances shrink, Kanayo Nwanzeon, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said at the meeting in Treviso, Italy.
Mr. Nwanzeon urged the ministers of the developing countries that attended, along with officials from the European Union, to quickly make the enhanced support for agriculture called for by the meeting`s outcome document a reality.
The well-being of 2 billion poor people who depend on smallholder farms in developing countries hinges on it, he stressed.
That is why we are encouraging ministers to return home and make sure that in all countries, rich and poor, we work together to keep agriculture at the top of their national agendas from now to the G8 Summit in La Maddalena and well beyond, he said.
The G8 Agriculture Ministers` Meeting ran from 18 to 20 April.