President stresses need to transform global food systems

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 25 2021
News President stresses need to transform global food systems

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa stressed that it is essential to transform global food systems into being more sustainable and that all stakeholders should work together in this connection. The President expressed these views while addressing the Virtual Plenary of the UN Food Systems Summit.

The UN Food Systems Summit commenced in New York on Friday, parallel to the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly. UN Secretary-General António Guterres made the keynote remarks of the Summit organised under the theme ‘Accelerating Action for the Future We Want.’ While addressing the Summit, President Rajapaksa pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in global food systems and that it will only be worsened with climate change.

 Sustainable food systems are part of Sri Lanka’s rich sociocultural and economic heritage, the President said and added that the step taken by the Government to ban chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and weedicides that led to adverse health and environmental impacts, was a crucial point in the State policy on sustainable development.

 The President pointed out that changing the mindset of farmers, long accustomed to using chemical fertilisers, was difficult and the production of sufficient quantity of organic fertiliser domestically was challenging. “Sri Lanka welcomes technical assistance and bilateral support in this regard,” he said. 

It is essential to enhance market-oriented inclusive food value chains in order to reduce rural poverty when fostering organic agriculture. “Through such improvements, I am confident Sri Lanka will be able to sustainably transform its food system and ensure greater food security and better nutrition for its people,” the President said. 

The President appreciated the technical assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Food Programme provided to Sri Lanka, and thanked other global organisations and scientific bodies for their support in this regard. 

President Rajapaksa said that it should be the aim of all State leaders to ensure a better future for their people and the planet and that everyone must work together to find solutions to the universal challenges we will have to face in the future, in this regard. The President also expressed optimism that the Summit will help facilitate the transformation of the global food systems to one that can better foster the health of both humanity and our planet.

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 25 2021

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