Sustainable agriculture ‘central’ to international development

Sustainable agricultural development is central to international development, according to Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

Minister Creed delivered the opening address at the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) Annual Conference in Iveagh House this morning (Wednesday, October 24).

Established in 2016, the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development is a voluntary, multi-disciplinary platform to share knowledge and good practices.

The forum capitalises on Ireland’s excellence in the agri-food sector for the benefit of development programming and policy, in support of Ireland’s development objectives, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The objective of the programme is to transform the livelihoods of people living in poverty in the developing world through initiatives which support resilient, equitable and sustainable agriculture, and increase food and nutrition security.

Opening the forum, the minister said: “Sustainable agricultural development is central to the realisation of Ireland’s international development objectives.”

Minister Creed acknowledged the role of IFIAD as a forum for sharing knowledge and good practice in relation to agriculture and international development.

Minister Creed also spoke about the Ireland’s whole-of-government approach to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

He said: “My department is one of the five lead departments on Goal Two: Zero Hunger.

The eradication of hunger and under-nutrition has long been a cornerstone of Ireland’s international development cooperation programme.

“Ireland recognises the central role of nutrition in achieving sustainable development, and that improvements in nutrition are necessary for progress on global health, education, poverty, female empowerment and inequality.”

The Department of Agriculture has spent approximately €19.2 million in Overseas Development Aid payments in 2017.

These comprised of: €14 million to the UN World Food Programme; €1.8 million of a subscription to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation; €2.7 million to specific FAO emergency projects; and a further €700,000 allocated to the Africa Agri-Food Development Programme.