What is the role of the agricultural sector in the world, also in light of the growing population?

The role of agriculture is to provide people with healthy, nutritious food with sufficient quantity and quality to maintain a good life. As the population grows rapidly, now at the rate of 220,000 people per day, the challenge to produce enough food is one that farmers are ready to meet if they can get a fair price for their products.


Is it true that industrial countries, are those suffering the greatest consequences of the crisis? And, why?

Urbanization in the industrial countries is increasingly taking good farm land out of food production to use for businesses and housing, but it is also true that the developed countries have the infrastructure and the organization to make their agriculture very productive. Actually, the crisis in food availability is occurring in the countries where the population is growing most rapidly and where there is already a deficit in food production.


Do we have to return to agriculture in order to ensure food security and economic stability in the world? In your opinion, which country is performing “the best” in terms of agriculture?

As the World Bank and the United Nations point out, the quickest way to improve the economy and the life of people in developing countries is to improve farm income. Farmers are up to 70% of the population in some countries, and therefore, if they become more prosperous, the entire community benefits. Thankfully, many countries in Africa, Asia, and South America are making rapid gains in their farm economy, but there is still much to do.


What are your thoughts on bioenergy? What role will they play in the future ?

Bioenergy is a renewable resource and it is an exciting development for farmers and for society. As the science and technology of bioenergy advance, we will see more use of biofuels and bioenergy.


Do you think there will be more “bread wars” in the world?

Food shortages are a terrible thing and our farmers are doing their best to feed people, but natural disasters such as drought and storms cannot be controlled by humans. Furthermore, climate change threatens to reduce farm production. These things are worrying to us at WFO and we urge the world's leaders to plan carefully and quickly to avoid a food crisis in the future.


And what about meat? According to some experts, we need to reduce meat consumption to guarantee food for everybody in the future and move towards more sustainable production. One suggestion is to replace animal proteins with insect proteins…

Many people want to eat meat, and they will do so if it is available and they can afford to buy it. Meat consumption is increasing in the world. If other protein sources, such as insects for example, can be made appealing to people, they will eat it. People's eating habits do not change easily, however.


Do you think we should increase trade of agricultural products between the countries in the world? And, at what conditions?

Trade is important to move food from countries that have too much to countries that need more of it. But, trade must be fair so that it does not disrupt the farm economy in either exporting or importing countries. this is a complex subject and our WFO members are working on adopting a policy on agricultural trade.


How is Italy seen with regards to the agriculture sector? Good and bad sides…

Italy has very high value agricultural production such as fruit, vegetables, meat and wine. It is famous for high quality food and for high quality cooking. Italy has a fine reputation for farms and for food. (I love Italian food)!


Why was Rome chosen as the city to host the WFO Headquarters?

Rome is the headquarters of the WFO because it is the seat of many international agencies dealing with agriculture. The FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Program are centered in Rome. It is a great cosmopolitan city and has been for thousands of years. It is an excellent location for the WFO.



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