D-8 countries, with a combined population of more than 1 billion, have great power to prevent insecurity and malnutrition which threaten millions of people around the world, a senior official said Wednesday. 

“One-third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted. If we can stop this problem, there will be no hunger problem in the world,” said Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli during the 6th D-8 Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture, which was held virtually.

Pakdemirli noted that global agriculture faces many challenges.

“We have to produce more food to feed the growing world population. Additionally, there is an increasing competition for the alternative use of limited land and water resources, and adapting to climate change is another challenge that the agricultural sector must face.”

Pointing out that the UN gave special attention to family farming, he said the Turkish government is aware of the issue.

“I believe small businesses can also play an important role in ensuring sustainable food security. These businesses are the main food source in developing countries and produce 80% of the food consumed in many developing countries.

“Therefore, small businesses and small family farms are very important to food security, and increasing agricultural productivity is closely linked to reducing rural poverty and hunger,” he said.

Pakdemirli stressed the importance of both local and multinational retailers to procure goods from small farmers through contracted agricultural agreements.

“In doing this, it is very important to spread good agricultural practices with the principle of mutual win-win. To achieve this, well-planned business models should be created for small farmers, and thus they should be integrated into global value chains.”

Therefore, the government’s 2019-2023 strategic plan aims to increase economic prosperity in rural areas, he added.

The D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8, is an organization for development co-operation among the following countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey.

*Written by Aysu Bicer

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