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19 Jun 2017

Belarus, FAO to cooperate in research, food quality control

MINSK, 19 June (BelTA) – Belarus and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have plans to cooperate in promoting scientific research and improving food quality control, Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) Vladimir Gusakov told the media ahead of the opening ceremony of the regional workshop for Europe and Central Asia on sustainable food and agriculture for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement hosted by the NASB on 19 June, BelTA has learned.

“Belarus ensured food security and sustainable development of rural areas within a short period of time. Today up to 30% of our food output is sold abroad, and a task has been set to raise the figure to 50%. It is not by chance that the regional workshop is held in our country. Many countries could learn from Belarus’ example how to ensure food security. We have agreed with FAO to implement a project in the field of scientific research, improvement of the diet, food quality and availability, and access to food. We will possibly organize another workshop on children’s nutrition and school meals,” Vladimir Gusakov said.

Raimund Jehle, FAO Regional Strategic Programs Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia, noted that Belarus has a well-developed agricultural sector. “We see progress in various sectors, including the dairy and meat industries. By the way, I have already had a chance to taste Belarusian food: it is of a very high quality. I would also like to note that one of FAO’s key objectives is to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Belarus and FAO are ready to continue working together towards this objective,” he added.

At the opening ceremony, Vladimir Gusakov read out a welcome letter to the participants of the forum from Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov. “Belarus has the necessary potential and pursues a consistent, socially oriented economic and agricultural policy consistent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It will not be an exaggeration to say that apart from being food self-sufficient, Belarus is also an export-oriented country,” Andrei Kobyakov noted in the letter.

The NASB is hosting the regional workshop on 19 and 20 June. Its participants discuss matters related to sustainable food production and agriculture amid global climate change, and the effort to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The forum has been organized by FAO. It has brought together representatives of 19 countries of Europe and Central Asia, including Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Albania, Azerbaijan, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Georgia, and Moldova. Belarus is playing host to such a large-scale FAO forum for the first time.

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