UN Chief Harps on Farming

Noon Briefing Guest, Mr. Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The President of the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Gilbert F. Houngbo, will meet the Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Thongloun Sisoulith, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, other high-ranking officials, as well as representatives of UN teams in country, to discuss investments that can improve food and nutrition security, generate employment and mitigate the effects of climate change in rural areas. The visit would focus on the role of smallholder farmers in improving household nutrition and food security. The delegation would be in Lao PDR  22 -25 July and in Cambodia 25 – 27 July.  

 “In Lao PDR and Cambodia, the majority of smallholder farmers practice subsistence agriculture, but they have the potential to develop their farm businesses if they have access to finance, training, technology, and commercial markets,” a statement quoted Houngbo to have said.

“IFAD is an experienced development partner, working with governments to transform rural areas, reduce poverty and hunger, and increase livelihoods for rural smallholders in the region,” he added. 

 In Lao PDR, approximately 80 per cent of the population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture and natural resources for their survival. Most farmers use traditional farming methods and lack access to irrigation and good roads.