Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Agriculture and food security is a priority of Italy which keeps close ties with international institutions directed at this while it also reaches out to farmers in poor states to achieve this.
Moreover, towards this end and in connection to the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, Italy in partnership with the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) “launched in Nov. 2020 the Food Coalition, a voluntary multi-stakeholder alliance to prevent and mitigate the impact of the crisis on food systems,” Italy’s Ambassador to the UAE Nicola Lener said.
Gulf Today interviewed the top diplomat as Italy is a repeat participant at the ongoing 26th year of the “Gulfood Hotel and Exhibition and Salon Culinaire” at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
On Tuesday, the Italian Trade Agency in Dubai, in collaboration with the Tuttofood Milan Fair and Emirates Culinary Guild introduced the first-ever edition of the “Tuttofood Pasta Challenge,” a platform for Italian cuisine and a showcase on how food connects people.
Lener said Italy is “highly committed at the international level to promote agriculture and food security,” when asked on how the country addresses food security within its borders and across Middle East and North Africa.
He cited the commitment of the country to fight global hunger specifically when it held the G-20 presidency. He mentioned the “Programming Guidelines for Italian Development Cooperation 2019-2021” which not only endeavours to educate and train farming households in low-income countries sustainable practices, but attaches to it as well the important role of women in the agricultural industry.
Lener added: “At the same time, Italy maintains close relations with the Rome-based United Nations organisations working on agriculture and related issues, such as the (FAO), the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFD).”
The close relations were marked with Italy’s “voluntary contributions” amounting to $308 million in 12 years from 2008 to 2020 broken down to $219 million to FAO (2008 to 2017), $66 million to FAD (2019 to 2021), and $23 million to WFP (2020).
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