Friday, March 22, 2019


Agri African & Asian economies’ backbone with regards to food security
Saturday, 17 March, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
When it comes to employment generation and food security, agriculture and allied sectors still remain the backbone of the economies of the most of the African and Asian countries. This was stated by Wassfi Hassan El-Sreihin, secretary general, African Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO), at the inauguration of the international workshop which is being organised by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), Kochi.

The objective of the 15-day workshop is to train researchers and officials from 13 member countries of the AARDO. “Despite progress in other economic sectors, agriculture and allied areas, such as fisheries, are still major economic components of many African and Asian countries as these sectors contribute significantly to their employment generation, economic growth, food security and overall development,” El-Sreihin said.

Ensuring food security global challenge
Touching upon the overall net increase of disasters, including those caused by climate change, the AARDO secretary general said one of the main global challenges now was how to ensure food and nutrition security for a growing population.

“Ensuring food and nutrition security is crucial for ensuring long-time sustainable development the people across the globe, especially in many African and Asian countries,” he added.

“Agriculture and allied sectors will need to produce 60 per cent more food globally by 2050, and 100 per cent more in developing countries using the same limited available natural resources,” El-Sreihin said.

Fisheries to play major role
The AARDO secretary general said that fisheries and aquaculture would play a major role in meeting the food demand of an increased population in the coming years.

“Rapid development of fisheries and aquaculture are foreseen to generate food, nutrition, income and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people around the world,” he added.

“In order to achieve the global transition to sustainable development, the developing countries in Asia and Africa should focus on environment-based policies and governance that take into account the three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and environmental – with closely interwoven targets,” El-Sreihin said.

Inaugurating the workshop, A Ramachandran, vice-chancellor, Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (KUFOS), Kochi, said fisheries was increasing becoming a major food commodity in our daily nutrition. “The high-quality protein in fish is helping the population to be nutritionally well-fed,” he added.

A Gopalakrishnan, director, CMFRI, presided over the meet. He said, “CMFRI is committed to come out with suitable technologies to increase the marine fish production in India. The technologies already developed by CMFRI in a slew of areas, such as open sea cage farming and fish stock assessment, will be made familiar to the member countries of AARDO.”  

Khushnood Ali, head, research division, and programme coordinator, AARDO; Imelda Joseph, principal scientist and course director of the workshop, and Somy Kuriakose, programme coordinator of the workshop, spoke on the occasion.

Representatives from Taiwan, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, Malaysia, Malawi, Libya, Mauritius and Bangladesh are attending the two-week long workshop.

The trainees will be imparted training in areas such as marine fisheries assessment, fish stock estimation, marine fisheries environment, impact of climate change on fisheries, responsible fisheries and mariculture activities like cage farming, along with practical sessions.

AARDO is an inter-governmental organisation in the field of agricultural and rural development, with its headquarters in New Delhi. Currently, 32 countries in Africa and Asia are its members.
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