African Union, FAO and Lula Institute join efforts to fight hunger in Africa

“Almost 60 percent of the arable land in the [African] continent is still not utilized.”

From FAO.ORG:

Addis Ababa, November 21, 2012 –The African Union Commission (AUC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Instituto Lula of Brazil announced today they were joining efforts to help eradicate hunger and undernourishment in Africa.

The decision was reached at a meeting between the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, and former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Honorary President of the Institute bearing his name.

This effort brings together the AUC’s leadership, FAO’s technical expertise and renewed commitment to fight hunger as well as the political backing of former Brazilian President Lula Da Silva. Knowledge and support from other international, regional and national partners will also go a long way to enhancing this new partnership. READ MORE.

UN Warns of Looming Worldwide Food Crisis in 2013

JOHN VIDAL writes in the OBSERVER:

• Global grain reserves hit critically low levels
• Extreme weather means climate ‘is no longer reliable’
• Rising food prices threaten disaster and unrest

World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned.

Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN. READ MORE.