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Haiti - Agriculture : «Agricultural cooperatives: key to feeding the world»
17/10/2012 11:51:09

Haiti - Agriculture : «Agricultural cooperatives: key to feeding the world»
This year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has dedicated the World Food Day [16 October], to the highlighting of the work of agricultural cooperatives which, according to FAO, working to improve food security and contribute to the eradication of world hunger.

In Haiti, "the World Food Programme (WFP) is committed to working closely with the national government to implement sustainable strategies to fight against hunger and malnutrition," declared Mrs. Myrta Kaulard, WFP Country Director. "WFP is proud to work with over 50 organizations of Agricultural Producers (OPA), which has allowed us in 2012 to acquire nearly 5,000 tons of food from small Haitians producers, for a value that exceeds $ 7.7 million [...] Our work in Haiti would not be possible without funding from our donors and support of our partners, WFP wishes to thank them, at the occasion of the World Food Day, for their constant support to our efforts," she concluded.

Thomas Jacques, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development declared on this day "[...] The emphasis should be put to introduce of agricultural cooperatives, of cooperatives of traders, fishermen's cooperatives, seed producers seed producers etc... that will show the way to out of the crisis.

Available data indicate that cooperatives are service billion members worldwide, the financial cooperatives themselves serve 857 million people, or 13% of the world population, they employ 5 million people worldwide. They also allow 50% of the world population to earn their living, they still provide 50% of global agricultural production. Finally, the 300 largest cooperatives generate a turnover of 1 billion 600 million dollars.

So at home in Haiti, we must encourage and promote cooperatives to which the state must provide guidance on policy and legislation concerning their operation, while stressing the need to provide the conditions for fair competition between them, and other companies [...]

Cooperatives embody mutual aid and solidarity, a significant effort at this level, necessarily leads to progress, which never comes alone. Our salvation is in the initiative and the collective action, today, face the major challenges, there is no time to lose, despite our differences, we must cooperate to provide what is best to our citizens..."

In his message, Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the UN, praised "The great expertise of agricultural cooperatives will be invaluable in achieving one of the initiative's primary aims: doubling the income and productivity of smallholder farmers." He also took advantage of the celebration of this day, to invite all partners to meet the challenge "Zero Hunger", launched last June in Brazil, to the Rio +20 Conference on Sustainable Development, for "A world free of hunger, where all food systems are sustainable and where everyone can enjoy their right to food."

HL/ HaitiLibre

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