Manila [Philippines]: Ensuring access to nutritious, safe and affordable food enabled by modern technologies and creative policies is essential to achieve inclusive and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific, participants heard at the Rural Development and Food Security (RDFS) Forum 2019 on Oct, 28, Monday.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute and the International Rice Research Institute, is hosting the forum with the theme ‘Transformative Changes for Rural Prosperity and Nutritious Food.’ More than 400 participants including officials from ADB’s developing member countries, multilateral organisations, academics, farmers and youth attended the opening session.
The three-day forum is part of ADB’s call to its member countries to prioritise rural development and promote effective land and water resources management to ensure sufficient and sustainable food production.
Most small-holder farmers in Asia and the Pacific struggle to earn a livable income and agricultural markets are largely not working adequately in most developing member countries.
“ADB will proactively assist our developing member countries to increase agricultural productivity and profitability, enhance food safety, and improve climate resilience and sustainability,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said in opening remarks to the forum.
“We are committed to supporting our member countries to supply sufficient, nutritious, safe, and affordable food.” Under ADB’s new corporate strategy 2030, promoting rural development and food security is one of the seven operational priorities.
ADB will incorporate climate-smart technologies and enabling policies into its operations; catalyse public and private sector investments for rural development; and promote transformative changes to make farming profitable, gender-responsive, highly productive, and attractive to youth.
ADB said it is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to 21.6 billion dollars, according to a statement.