Tuesday, June 25, 2019 — Outgoing Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Dr. Jose Graziano de Silva will demit office later this year and the newly elected Director General will assume the much coveted office.
Hon. Saboto Caesar, Minister of Agriculture in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, remembers Dr. Graziano for his “relentless quest to zero hunger in our World”. “I can recall his first address in June 2011, when he pledged to have the F (food) in FAO returned."
It was his view that the FAO had drifted from one of its central mandates, which is to ensure that the world was fed.
Dr. Graziano visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines during his tenure in office and was instrumental in supporting the island in its establishment of the first Parliamentary Front Against Hunger in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Dr. Graziano served as an integrationist, with a pointed ambition to bring agriculture policy makers and technicians in Latin America and the Caribbean in closer working contact. He was the first Latin American to ever hold the position of Director General of the FAO.
Some of the result-oriented projects piloted, with a special emphasis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, over the two terms served by the outgoing Director General include:
Mobilisation of support from Uruguay and Jamaica in cattle production;
Flood recovery support;
Technical exchanges for agricultural stakeholders;
Assistance in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU);
Implementation of the Port State Measures regulations;
Cocoa production support;
The black sigatoka control initiative; and
The framing of the country’s agri-export strategy initiative.
The Hon. Minister also recognised the dedicated support from Dr. Didacus Jules of the OECS Commission; Dr. Deep Ford; Dr. Lystra Fletcher-Paul; Rueben Robertson; Sunita Daniels; and Jorge O’Ryan in shaping many of the programmes which brought significant benefits to stakeholders in the agriculture sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Minister Caesar took the opportunity to wish Dr. Graziano all the very best in his future endeavours, on behalf of the government and people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“There is certainly no doubt that the brilliance of this world-renowned former professor of agriculture made a significant impact on the Caribbean region, as many countries continue the fight to reconfigure their food production platforms," concluded Minister Caesar.
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